The RSS Bus

Nothing earth shattering for a Sunday, but this picture says so much. If you’re not paying attention to the power of RSS syndication, its time to get on the bus …

Flickr photo by nessman

Flickr photo by nessman

4 thoughts on “The RSS Bus

  1. Cole,

    I was surprised at the under-utilization of RSS among IST students. I converted the IST2U feed to a Feedburner account, and we’re only seeing about 12 subscribers currently (this includes 2 staffers + me). Given, this isn’t ALL of IST, but based on the number of hits we’ve been seeing recently I would still expect that we’re hitting a pretty good cross section of IST students.

    One of my own personal rules is that if a web app doesn’t interface with what I currently use (Gmail, Remember The Milk, Gcals, etc.), then it doesn’t get added to “the system” (all the stuff that makes up my personal organization process). RSS is a simple, low-overhead way for companies to make products more integration-friendly.

  2. @ Bradley Shively Thanks for the comment … I think the overall understanding of RSS is still relatively low for student populations. I think it will grow, but to me the beauty of XML is data portability … it still amazes me how powerful simple syndication is. BTW, it is nice to see IST2U running as a blog. Back when I was at IST we tried over and over again with the administration to convince them that what they really needed was a simple site built on blog software. I heard over and over that blogs aren’t serious and what the top dogs wanted was a “real” website. Still cracks me up!

  3. Cole, I agree about students not “getting” RSS (yet.) I also think that it is a lot easier to keep up on RSS feeds when you have a job as an information worker / spend several hours a day at one desk. I found that, during both of my internships, I kept up on various RSS feeds exponentially more than I ever have before or since. I even utilized (though don’t tell my employers…) social news sites like Digg far more when I had 8 hours a day at one workstation.

    Now, to be fair, part of that could be chocked up to “screwing around at work”, but the use of RSS just seemed more interesting/worthwhile when I was spending a lot of time in one place. Rather than constantly refreshing pages, I’d just pop open Google Reader every few hours and see what was pouring in.

  4. @ Bradley Shively For me I use RSS because I don’t have the time to really browse the web. I am at my desk so little I have to use Google Reader to keep up with fresh content. When I actually have some time to kill I usually end up at the New York Times, ESPN, or in Facebook. RSS gives me a chance to actually stay current in the little time I have.

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