Monday, 24 March 2008

Thing 8 - I heart RSS

RSS has a big heart
Originally uploaded by labnol
I've been banging on about RSS for a while now. It's like having a separate mail slot for your newspapers so they don't get mixed in with your mail. And there are so many uses for it!

For a start it is a brilliant way to collect and read professional reading - blog posts are much more consumable than long articles or chapters in a book. A fair chunk of my KM knowledge has been collected and read in my bloglines account from the list of blogs you see in my blogroll.

It's also a great way of harvesting news from particular sites - even passworded databases such as Factiva now have the facility to deliver RSS alerts to your reader.

These are examples of your RSS reader as a repository - an "in tray" so to speak, where material sits until you come and read it. But there is also an alternative type of reader - the "stream of news" reader. In my Google Sidebar I have a news ticker that provides the latest stories from SMH and yahoo news. These are constantly refreshing, and the story is not kept anywhere once it's replaced by fresh news. It's a great way to monitor ephemeral news - something that is of value as soon as you're alerted to it, but isn't something you're likely to go back to tomorrow. But it's still RSS.

So there's a bunch of personal uses for RSS. Next post - RSS takes on the enterprise world!