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What is RSS?

RSS or “Really Simple Syndication” is an incredibly useful tool that many people do not take advantage of. It allows you to easily follow your favorite blogs and get automatic notifications whenever your favorite blogger posts something new.

Heres how it works:

Go to your favorite bloggers website. Look for an icon like the one above or a button that says “subscribe to RSS.” Click on the icon and it will ask you to choose a “reader” to subscribe to. I personally use Google reader because I have a gmail account and Google does a very good job linking all of their services together. Once you have selected a reader, you can have the latest blog posts written by your favorite blogger sent directly to your email.  It’s as simple as that.

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What's all the BUZZ about?

A brand new social networking site was launched several days ago by Google, called Buzz. Google Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos, and start conversations about the things you find interesting. If you own a Gmail account, you’re already set up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. This new tool comes with many features that implicate dramatic change within the social networking/media arena. Over the past couple weeks, data shows that “over 160,000 Google Buzz posts and comments per hour.” But why is this social networking site so popular? How is Google Buzz different than Twitter or Facebook?

Here are some of its new features that distinguish Buzz from Twitter and Facebook:

Email

  • Integrated with one of the most widely-used email services on the planet.
  • One less browser window and one less login.
  • Email, chat, and social media functions are in one place.

Smart Auto-following

  • Auto-detects the contacts that you communicate with most and immediately follows them.

Instant Fullscreen Media Viewing

  • Shows pictures and video immediately viewable from the Buzz feed in fullscreen mode.

Choosing Media Associated with Links

  • Pulls pictures and video from the pages posted and lets you choose what media to post with the link.

Location-Based Posting and Results

  • Translates the latitude and longitude of your exact location into a place name and can identify if you are at home or at work.

Instantaneous Privacy Settings for Posts

  • Provides a simple dropdown box in the posting window that lets you easily change privacy settings for each post.

Recommendations

  • Identify posts from friends of a friend that may be interesting to you based on past behavior.  They are easily ignorable as well.

Relevancy Rankings for the Google Buzz Feed

  • Identifies the relevancy of each post based on what the post contains, who and how many people have commented on it and the location of the sender. If it is interesting, according to your taste (through likes and dislikes), it goes to top of news feed.

Article Reviewed:

http://mashable.com/2010/02/14/google-buzz-column/

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friendfeed: social glue filling the cracks of your web life.

Fragmented online life? This may help. friendfeed is the biggest of a new type of internet service, the social aggregator.

The problem friendfeed solves is: people have multiple sites, services and blogs and they need one place where this stream of content can be consolidated. If RSS feeds take all the new content from your fav blogs, then friendfeed takes all the content from your social life and presents it in a steady stream. This is called lifestreaming.

People can subscribe to your feed on the site or add it as an RSS subscription. There is even a cool Facebook App that allows all your new content to appear on your profile.

friendfeed currently supports 35 services and they’re always adding more. friendfeed services

  • Del.icio.us
  • Facebook, LinkedIn
  • YouTube, Flickr
  • Digg, Mixx, Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google Reader (RSS shared items)

You can also add your blogs so whenever you post it will put it in the stream. Alternatively you can just put some text and/or link into the stream. The communication doesn’t go just one way either. You can post directly to Twitter.

This is a great example of internet entrepreneurship in action. It was founded by several former Google employees to fulfill a real need that is becoming ever more useful as we move online.

Another player stepping onto the field is socialthing. Their concept is similar but so far only has support for 6 services. socialthing looks like the younger but prettier brother of friendfeed. It is still in private beta but drop me a comment here, I have a few invites to hand out.

The battle between friendfeed and socialthing is just gearing up but no matter the outcome, we win :)

2008-04-22_1712

Further reading:
FriendFeed Vs. SocialThing! on ReadWriteWeb
Bret Taylor & Paul Buchheit – Co-Founders, FriendFeed (Podcast) by Sean Ammirati (ReadWriteTalk)
FriendFeed API: Extend and improve FriendFeed on FriendFeed blog
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RSS: What is it?… and why use it?

RSS is a way to get the vast amount of info on the internet to come to you.

This is a great intro to RSS… (3:43)

After getting a good reader like Google Reader or Bloglines subscribe to some feeds. Every so often visit your reader to see what new content has come your way.If you’re looking for some good feeds, Lifehacker is a great one to start with. Copyblogger is a great blog for copywriting tips and blogging.

RSS feed icon

Don’t forget to subscribe to our feed! :)

Seven Tips for Making the Most of Your RSS Reader by ReadWriteWeb
RSS: Best Design Practices and Icons by Smashing Magazine
Creative RSS Button – Could it Work? by Ann Smarty
How do you Consume or Distribute Your RSS Content? by Lifehacker
14 “OTHER” Ways to Use RSS Feeds by makeuseof.com
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Next Generation Newspaper

It slips my mind who it was, but someone in class had a great idea of an online newspaper or "e-zine"

I stumbledupon this and the concept seems similar similar or at least would help augment the idea proposed in class. The gist is that you create a personal newspaper from your RSS and AtomRSS feeds. It allows you to create a personal one for yourself or to publish one for others consumption.

Feed Journal | The Newspaper You Always Wanted

Whoever had the idea, please comment and let us know how this fits in with your vision and how you think they could improve upon the idea. Maybe this is a totally unrelated idea from yours but I think this is still a cool concept.

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