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Say Yes to RSS

Just yesterday morning someone with my exact same name rewrote the Librarians’ Index RSS tutorial (remarkable coincidence, isn’t it?). The tutorial which is based on Bloglines, a free, Web-based RSS reader. See:

There are any number of good aggregators around, including other Web-based readers. The advantage of promoting Web-based aggregators to library users is obvious. Or maybe it’s not obvious and I should point out that you don’t have to install or update anything, and they can go home or go to another library and get their feeds there as well.

I–I mean the tutorial writer–shortened the tutorial significantly, because Bloglines has become far more intuitive (a word to use selectively, but in this case I believe is warranted).

I eat what I cook; I use Bloglines as my RSS reader. I swivel between two computers quite a bit, and I like not having to maintain and update two clients. Plus I believe if I’m going to teach something or use it with (human) clients, I should know it. I can think of one library that just started requiring that librarians use the same interface their public users see, and kudos to them for putting the user first. For the librarians complaining about this, remember, “there’s no crying in baseball.”

(I am still looking for a good RSS reader for my PDA, and if you’re going to say “Hand,” then please talk to me, because I tried it and was unhappy–it wouldn’t import my OPML file, I had to scroll left and right, it just was not up to its hype. This is somewhat of a digression, but I am dying to have RSS on my PDA.)

If you are wondering if anyone will read your feeds, boy oh boy, will they. Librarians’ Index has over 2400 subscribers through Bloglines alone, and its main RSS feed (there are two) was banged on over 250,000 times in the last reporting quarter. Not only that, the major RSS finding services are wonderful marketing tools for your stuff. The Index gets a lot of referrals from Radio Userland.

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