Reply to This Indispensable Digital Research Tool, We can Say, Without Lying, Saves Time

Replied to This Indispensable Digital Research Tool, We can Say, Without Lying, Saves Time by Alan Levine (@cogdog) (Extend Activity Bank)

People will claim they can replace RSS Readers with social media streams like twitter. While we do get many key resources and news stories via social media, let’s dispute that claim:

  • Clutter, noise, distraction. What you get is interspersed with many things that are outside your interests, rants, yelling, silly gifs. That’s a lot of filtering.
  • You Miss It, You Lose it. Social media is focused at the head of the stream. While you sleep or actually do something productive away from social media, it all flows away. Yes, maybe your network can signal with repeating important things, but its spotty.
  • Duplication You have no means to quickly know what you have already looked at, and you see may the same story multiple times.
  • You Are Subject to Algorithms Especially on facebook, what you see is determined by the mysteries of an algorithm. Sure you choose sources by followers, but the means by which information is presented is determined by some outside automated entity.

This activity brings you an exception to the technology as time-saving lie; it’s old tool that many people have abandoned. I will wade carefully through the acronym jargon jungle, but we are talking about using an RSS Feed Reader to monitor the most recent news, blog posts, data from sources you choose to follow, not ones dished out by some company’s algorithm.

RSS is incredibly valuable as is OPML.

I had used Feedly for several years, but made the switch to Inoreader last year, in part because it has one additional useful feature that Feedly doesn’t: OPML subscription. While it’s nice to be able to import and export OPML files, needing to remember to update them can be an unnecessary step, particularly if 20+ people need to do the update to capture all the new RSS feeds added. (As an example, say one or two students join a class late and everyone has already got the original OPML export and now needs to update to add a few more feeds to keep track of classroom activity.)  OPML subscription improves this by allowing the subscription to an OPML link with multiple feeds in it. If the original OPML file updates with new feeds, then the reader automatically updates them and pushes them out to everyone subscribed to that OPML file!

Think of an OPML subscription as an updating subscription to a bundle of RSS feeds which all also provide their own individual updates. Instead of subscribing to a bunch of individual feeds, you can subscribe to whole bundles of feeds.

For those looking for some sample OPML links to subscribe to, try some of mine which are listed at the bottom of the linked page. For some ideas about building your own data stores with OPML links for WordPress, try my Following Page solution. WordPress’s old Link Manager described on that page will provide the ability to store the data and provide the OPML links, the rest of the page discusses publishing it on one’s site so that it’s publicly available if you wish. URL schemes for sub-categories are discussed separately.

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👓 Planning a DoOO Summer Camp – Newbies Corner | Reclaim Hosting Community

Read Planning a DoOO Summer Camp by Alan LevineAlan Levine (Reclaim Hosting Community)
For participants in the eCampus Ontario Extend project, some of whom have gotten Reclaim hosting, some who will be starting. I’m planning on running a 4 week online “summer camp” workshop. This will be open for anyone who wants to get involved. It will likely be a weekly “lesson” with some activities, an intro how to video, a weekly open office hours via Zoom, and a lot of tweeting & blogging. I’m curious to hear from others who have developed intro materials what sort of topics you find are m...
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👓 Domain Camp | Domains of Our Own

Read Domain Camp (Domains of Our Own)
Welcome to Domains Camp, where over a four week experience we will help you get your skills up in understanding and management of an internet domain of your own. We are running this over a series starting July 10, 2018 and is open to anyone or outside of Ontario Extend who wants to learn more about what is possible with an internet domain and web-hosting package. Our instructions will be tailored to the platform offered by our provider, Reclaim Hosting, but could be used by anyone with a host that uses cpanel as the interface.

This looks like an intriguing offering!

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