Friday, 9 May 2008

Call to RSS arms! (plus Brazil!)

Last Sunday I watched the final of Brazil’s football cup at the Maracana stadium in Rio. I was a little nervous (not only have I always dreamed of going to probably the most famous stadium in the world; the place Pele used to play in front of 200,000 fans), but also I had a number of high tech gadgets on me. My Lonely Planet guide advised me not to take anything valuable to Brazil!!! I was therefore surprised to see a magnitude of expensive mobiles, cameras and camcorders everywhere I looked. It seems that everyone is using technology to make their lives easier and for fun.

This got me thinking about how we can all use technology to make our lives easier and for learning (I had to get a link in somewhere!!). Most people subscribe to my blog by email rather than by RSS feed (though RSS feeds are much better).

My call to arms to you is to set up a RSS feed. See if it helps you!! I think you will find it will…….. What is a RSS Reader? Latest news, podcasts, blogs and latest info on websites can be aggregated via what is called a “Reader” ie. You don’t have to keep visiting loads of websites. On one screen you can view all the latest information that you need (see

I don’t know what I would do without my reader (a great deal of my job related learning is via my Reader). I have 7 main categories which cover both work and my personal interests: learning & technology (see image - this includes all my favourite L&T blogs and news); general technology (consumer plus latest web mkg news); education & training; football; running; finance (for my limited stocks!!) and news.

I’ve spoken about my grandma in previous blogs. Now for my father!! My father is new to the web this year. He set up a Reader in 30 minutes (he found this easier then setting up an email account). My dad uses a reader to keep abreast of the latest sports, news and for learning. To tell you the truth the real reason he set one up was because he is a big Spurs (football fan). He stands in a newspaper shop every day reading the football headlines from every paper (let‘s hope I‘m not like this when I retire!!). Now he doesn’t need to go to a newspaper shop as he can see not only 10 newspapers, but 50 all through a Reader. My father now also uses his Reader to track several other interests and to continue his lifelong learning.

So, my friends, this is my call to arms to you…………….why don’t you set up a RSS feed!!!

There are three simple steps……
1) Choose a reader. I use a google reader (, but there are many others out there (eg.
2) Set up an account (this takes 3 minutes)
3) Click the red RSS button on your favourite websites, news sites, blogs and podcasts in order to add these feeds to your Reader. If you have several different types of feeds, then organise them into categories or folders.

Have fun………


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestion of this Reader. I didnt know about it but have set one up with Nick Robinson blog feed, Iain Dale, BBC Politics News and Conservative Home feed so far.
Lewis Sidnick

Anonymous said...

agreed - RSS feeds have come a long, long way. The majority of sites now have them (however I notice that Ufi and learndirect sites don't have a RSS feed option. Shouldn't you practice what you preach?).
I would like RSS feeds to be more precise on websites (eg. to take your football example, news sites should have a RSS feed for just your football team. On many you have to get all the feeds for football teams). I presume it depends on how much new content you have on a site?

Anyway I notice that you are blog of the month on the learning Technologies Conference/Exhibition website......

Jeremy (