I am an idiot. I have been a mad RSS fan for years … I’ve used it to get access to the things I want to read for so long I’ve forgotten what it means to really “surf” the web. RSS Enclosures got me excited from day one, but I have never really grasped what so many others have gotten for far too long — that RSS is pure content. I somehow missed the notion that RSS can provide more than my reader with reusable content — anything in that feed can be used anywhere else.
With the Blogs at Penn State pilot fully underway, we wanted a way to easily pull together all the blogs from ETS and display them as a meta blog — a staff perspectives site so to speak. I didn’t want to have to install another tool on one of our servers, I just wanted an easy way to make it all go. Enter Google Reader and its ability to share any content as a meta blog that you have in a tag. So, in Brian Lamb style, I threw together a very quick and dirty screencast showing how to use Google Reader to organize and share a mashed-up meta blog of content under a single tag. Once you start to see how this works, the ability to leverage the XML content of any feed becomes immediately obvious. We actually spent a bunch of time talking about it in the ETS Talk Podcast 24 a couple of weeks ago.
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