#11 - Finding Feeds

Now that you have an RSS reader(your Bloglines or Google Reader account), you can begin adding other feeds that interest you. Technorati, a blog tracking site, reports that they are currently tracking 110.7 million blogs. Out of the millions of blogs available, how do you find the ones that are of most value to you? There are several resources that you can use.

First, read this post from The Cool Cat Teacher blog for some great suggestions on how to select good RSS feeds: How to Create Your Circle of the Wise.

Next, explore some other options for locating appropriate RSS feeds.

Discovery Resources

  • When visiting your favorite websites -- look for RSS feed icons (like those on the left above) that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation bar of the site.

  • Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.

  • Consider Edublogs' award winners

  • School Library Blogs on Suprglu - this site offers a selection of postings from lots of different blogs by school librarians. Click on the link under each post to visit the actual blog.

  • Other Search tools that can help you find feeds:

    • Feedster - One of the largest collections of RSS feeds, Feedster lets you search for feeds in three categories: news, blogs & podcasts

    • Google Blog Search - See what appears when you search "school library learning 2.0" or "mesquite isd"

    • Topix.net - This search tool allows you to locate recent newsfeed items based upon keyword or phrase searching. The tool focuses specifically on news and media outlet RSS feeds for information, not weblogs.

    • Syndic8.com - Syndic8 is an open directory of RSS feeds that contains thousands of RSS feeds that users have submitted.

    • Technorati - Technorati is a popular blog finding tool that lets you search for blogs. Since RSS feeds are inherent to all blogging tools, Technorati Blog Search can help you find RSS feeds for topic specific blogs you may be interested in.
      Additonal Resource: Technorati Tutorial on finding and adding your blog
Discovery Exercise
  1. Explore some of the search tools noted above that can help you locate some RSS feeds.

  2. Add any pertinent feeds to your RSS reader.

  3. Create a blog post about your experience that answers these questions:
    *Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use?
    *Which Search tool was the easiest for you?
    *Which was more confusing?
    *What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels?
    *Or what kind of unusual ones did you find?
    *What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?
EXTRA STUFF -- Feed icon information:

In February of 2006, the adoption of a standard feed icon among websites and browsers finally began to assist in stopping the madness and confusion caused by so many variations. So far this icon has been adopted by many websites and browers, including Opera and FireFox, where it displays in the address bar:

Internet Explorer 7 has something like this as well. For more information about this emerging new standard, see Feedicons.com


Vicki A. Davis said...

What a great blog and some excellent resources. Wow! I'm looking to see if there is a course accompanying this work.

mmw said...

This course was created for school librarians in Mesquite ISD, but anyone is welcome to follow along with us.