Tag: “2.0”

RSS–Read Specific Stuff

Brian Gray of Are You 2.o yet? pointed me to an interesting post the other day–that only 12% of users are aware of RSS and 4% use it. Link to original Yahoo Report.

In the past six months as a user, I’ve gone from delighted with RSS to overwhelmed by it. It’s an amazing resource, particularly when channeled effectively. For a library job searcher, it proved to be invaluable. However, the low usage/awareness reported by that study doesn’t surprise me. We talk about “Really Simple Syndication” as this great and wonderful tool—but a tool is only good if I have a reason to use it.

I was a slow adopter because I couldn’t remember to check my RSS feed. Why would I want to check something beyond my email? Didn’t everything come in email newsletter format? These seem to be similar concerns across the board as just last week a posting came through on a listserv asking for tips on how to get people to use their feeds. A suggestion came for email pushers–but unless you’re up for a TON of email or you are only subscribing to a veeery select
number of blogs, this doesn’t seem like an effective way to manage this tool. (Caveat: I don’t use those…so I can’t speak for experience with them!!!)

When I’m trying to explain RSS, my best method is to find a subject relevant to the poor person who’s caught me on a ‘feed’ high. I can explain to you how it made my job hunt easier but that won’t help you learn to use the tool so instead we need to find something you-specific. My boyfriend, patient in being my guinea pig on occasion, is my (hopefully) latest adopter of RSS. His feed hook? Harley motorcycles.

After a brunch discussion a few weeks back about RSS/Reader/That thing I’m always giggling over, I talked him through the basics of Google Reader and signed him up for my blog. Then we scooted over to Yahoo!News and did a Harley search. After talking about XML/RSS boxes and other stuff for a little while, I left him to his own devices. Shortly thereafter I was asked to supervise adding a Harley blog to his reader. His reader now has a prominent post on his Google homepage—and he even had a phone comment on my earlier post.

It wasn’t that he couldn’t understand how to use the tool—but he needed something personal, like a Harley blog, that will have information he really wants to read to bring him back to it often enough to make it worth his time.

So my RSS is Read Specific Stuff—because there’s too much information in the world and it needs to be weeded to the 200+ new items in my feeder.

Off to bed early (at least for this hedgehog)

Second Life….I’m trying

I don’t really have a first life between the theater and this week’s disaster commonly known as “it’s January and we need you to design until you’re blue.” So to spice things up a bit–and because I keep reading all these other stories about it–I ventured over to Second Life and now have my very own little avatar.

My roommate groaned when I mentioned that I’d done so, until I explained that I’ve never played an RPG before. I don’t really see this as something I’ll get dreadfully into, but from a professional/informational perspective, it’s intriguing. It’s incredibly Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. If you have an avatar and haven’t read that book yet, you really really should. But from the RL of me I’m not into battling people–which seemed to be the focus of a number of the RPG’s that I’ve seen. You conquer someone, get their money, buy weapons, etc etc etc.

I went through the orientation. That was initially not working well because my avatar wasn’t appearing on my screen. Reloaded and she appeared. But I did my initial teleport and now I’m wandering around going….now what? So I’m going to have to back search through some blogs I read and see if I can get some coordinates of stuff I’m interested in doing. I know InfoIsland is supposed to be fabulous, I just have to figure out how to get there.

I can see it being fun/fabulous but I can’t see it becoming the be-all and end-all that some people are predicting. The online courses via Second Life really scare me. I went to graduate school with people who had never used anything more difficult that a word processor. I recall on various occasions teaching how to attach documents to an email and other basics. I do not begrudge that this education needed to happen, but you want me to explain to someone how to negotiate their avatar when they’re having trouble understanding email attachments?

I think I want to go back to the video game I played in college (badly). It was a farm game where you worried about wooing a woman and planting and brushing your cows to make them happy. Does anyone know the name of that game?