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RSS Digestion: Too Much to Read?


Reading Vicky Davis article Creating your Circle of the Wise at Techlearning Blog, I started writing this reflection/comment on her inspiring post. Vicky poses several questions we should all find an answer on our way to learning to read and write online.

How to manage and cope with the wealth of information the blogosphere has to offer is a stumbling block for busy teachers who plunge into the middle of endless conversations and perpetual conferences narrated and commented in blogs.

Indeed something must be done or learnt about what to do with so much information through our RSS feeds -almost indigestion at times.

However, the building of the Circle of the Wise is just an approach to solve the need for new reading skills -or should I say literacy pure and simple.

The blogsphere has given us an unprecedented access to people's process of thinking. Ideas in the making are the star. The circles of thought and of the pre-read people sounds to me like doing away with diversity and making sure some Wise mind has filtered a few things for us.

Trying to follow the process is always more uncertain, unsettling and messy. Now if we do not learn that, don't we run the risk of replicating closed circles online where a few are heard/read -just as a few get to be published today?

The comments in this thread point to the excuses some teachers find to avoid exploring online possibilities. Fear of the unknown is a more powerful constraint than lack of time. And teachers love to know things.

I am sure I could persuade a few to start blogging, I could even tell them who to read for inspiration and they might. But we would be missing the point. Teachers should love to learn things.

What we need is constant decision makers as to who to read, when and what for. Blogging is perhaps the best media to make the "virus" of lifelong learning spread -beyond selected circles- and deal with the fear of choking with information.

So in answer to your question Vicky, I am not creating circles. My aim is not to be like Stephen Will or David -as much as I enjoy reading them. They are already taken so I rather be myself! And there are bloggers who are not always Wise, but have worth reading pieces. Reading the Wise is easy, sifting for great thoughts in a sea of publications is more like the kind of advanced literacy we will need.

I will keep on subscribing, yes. Even instinctively at times. As regards time management, I still do not have answers. I am learning all along.

As regards posting, I'd rather do so when I have something to say or research. There are enough pages already. Many seem to post to keep readers coming back. In my newly acquired reading habits, if someone writes well, I will see him in my aggregator.


Further conversations on this topic:
These links will introduce you to the topic of RSS and information management.

Basic: A Tutorial
http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/
A tutorial with video
http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/rss

Introduction to RSS
(Via GSiemmens with a tutorial link)Tony Karrer discusses different techniques to cope with RSS
http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2006/08/managing-your-rss-feeds.html

More conversation
Feed overload and your tools
http://blog.jackvinson.com/archives/2006/12/26/feed_overload_and_your_tools.html

A blog entry with some stats and graphs from Microsoft research on RSS use
http://www.igvita.com/blog/2006/12/21/reinventing-rss-readers/

Solving Feed Overload
Any solutions?
-Using email (Gmail)
http://dieter.vox.com/library/post/grss.html

-Adding Search to Google Reader
Needs Greasemonkey installed
http://www.lifehacker.com/software/google-reader/download-of-the-day--google-reader-custom-search-greasemonkey-225612.php

A paper
Why RSS is Crucial for the Blogging Classroom
by David Parry
http://blogsforlearning.msu.edu/articles/view.php?id=6

Not so new (2003) but interesting to read and see how long this problem has been going on
Wired Magazine
http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,60053,00.html


My del.icio.us links tagged RSS (where I follow-up on this entry)

http://del.icio.us/fceblog/RSS

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