I am going to be honest with you. I have been getting burned out on these weekly blogs. It’s hard to come up with things to write about every week and I’m spending so much energy planning and thinking about my big project.
I am too scared to count the total number of blogs in my Google Reader, but there are 55 in the Fashion category. I don’t read all of them–I will often check a blog or category and look at the bold headers and click the ones that interest me, then mark the rest as read. I don’t think that makes me a Reader phony, just a realist! I would never be able to read this many blogs through bookmarks. There is so much information out there. Here are my favorite tips.
1. Google Reader’s built in stats are so helpful
Scroll to the top of your subscriptions and click Trends. This gives you information about your own personal reading trends (which blogs you read the most often) but also Subscription Trends. Here you see which blogs are updated the most, and more important, least frequently. Since I subscribe to so much I often read the blogs by category (ie, all home blogs at once, in order of posting time). This means I don’t keep up with which blogs have stopped updating, but I go through the Inactive list pretty often and end some subscriptions. Sometimes I find that the blogs have moved to another location so I end up even on my number of subscriptions.
2. Google Alerts are your friend
I would have trouble filling the VCU Summer Studies Twitter and Facebook without subscribing to “summer and university” and “university and social media” without Google Alerts. It’s such an easy way to have information delivered to you. I am lazy.
3. Google stars
Even though you can tag these, I find that tagged starred items just clutter up my nice Reader dashboard. I star things in my Reader (especially in my iPad app, which is much simpler than the web-based version), then go through the starred items and pin home or food stuff on Pinterest or use others for work or school (and now Diigo). Then I unstar them. It’s still a pain in the ass but there’s no Diigo or Pinterest apps that work on the iPad so there’s some back and forth.
4. Not putting entire post in RSS
I have a blog. I understand that pageviews are important. But if you put one line in your RSS feed and make me click through for the rest I will just unsubscribe and forget about you.
There’s so much more to RSS that I’m learning, like setting up custom feeds for jobs.
I’ve loved hearing everyone’s experiences with RSS! Katherine made some pipes! I really enjoyed Rhett’s story in class about how he made Net Vibes work for him at his job. And Wally writing about becoming a blogaholic (I should be in recovery for blog addiction, it’s unhealthy!). You all continue to be so inspirational to me, so thank you!!
Social Networking sites as learning spaces
The most disturbing thing I learned in class was that Jess hasn’t seen The Social Network (don’t worry girl, I’m bringing it for you to borrow). While this movie has many flaws (fake cold-weather breath; changing the truth to create a specific narrative; misogyny), it is such a fascinating look at the most important social network of our time from its dorm room beginnings. The questions it brings up–who owns ideas? what if someone makes them better?–are timeless and will continue to arise in our society that values technological advancements.
I think Facebook is a great tool for general learning, to me it does not function as well as Twitter does for learning. I check #adlt641 but I don’t read anything in my fb groups (what I believe people in education want to use). People would have to be retrained to use fb differently.
The answer isn’t making a LMS function more like fb (I don’t want to be friends with people on four places!), but integrating SNS (Wikis, Netvibes, etc) like apps make so much sense. The ways Britt and Jeff were able to manipulate Bb and make it work for our classes have been really eye-opening. Getting other instructors and students to use LMS like we have been is definitely the real challenge.