Monday, September 20, 2010

Moving from bloglines across to Google Reader

Unfortunately, bloglines, my preferred RSS feeder, will be closing down on the 1st of October. I had migrated my feeds across to Google Reader over year or more ago but have found the bloglines interface to be too familiar to give up. There is even a post asking blogliners to convert to Google reader! Now, I will have to get to grips with learning the ropes around Google reader. 
The ease by which one can set up RSS feeds on social networking has perhaps led to the demise to dedicated feed readers.  For instance, my main access to non-work related news is via the feeds set up on my iGoogle page with latest news from the BBC, NZ Herald, TVNZ and TV3.  Many other people set up feeds on their facebook or twitter accounts.  The NZ Herald app on the ipad has a visually attractive and easy to use interface. Even my husband, is now prepared to give up our subscription to the hardcopy newspaper. He never likes reading on screen but the ipad has partially converted him to doing some on-screen reading. Recent post on tech crunch indicates more Americans read online news than on hardcopy newspapers. Growth of multimedia consumption devices like the ipad will only increase this trend.
Google reader has put in many ways to explore my RSS feeds, so it will take me some time to explore the possibilities and to work my way around the items I will find to be useful. One item I already quite like is that Google reader shows all the feeds, not only just the ones you have not read. This is a good way to backtrack and to find out what the blogger has been discussing in the pass, providing better context for the current blog. Also, easier to access ‘older’ blogs. In bloglines, you have to move across to the main blog url in order to check back into the actual archives. In Google reader, a list of ‘older’ blogs is listed and this makes the process of rechecking recent blogs much easier. Also good for when I need to check my own blog, there is a list of all the blogs from this year and access is easier than going to through blogger!
In some ways, having eveything via Google's gmail account (igoogle, google docs, blogger, reader) makes life easier. However, still important for me to try to access and use a diverse range of tools.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be exploring how to better use collaborative tools for the Center of Educational Development staff to share and archive 'resources' which we all constantly email to each other.  Will be interesting exercise to see what is out there and what we may select to use.  The tools will need to be easy to use as digital literacy of the CED team is mixed plus will also be something that meets the objectives of the group as many attempts at setting up collaborative 'knowledge sharing' tools come to naught when people do not use them - for all sorts of reasons.