Almost Painless RSS

flock RSS I live in my email app and my browser, but don’t expect me to visit your site everyday just to check to see if you have new info. One of the reasons I like Twitter and spend more time on Facebook is because they come to me and tell me when new content is posted. Expecting me or worse, trying to force me to come to your site to check for new content feels too much like Web 1.0 to me. Strangely, even with this attitude and my constant need to have a sense of what’s going on in Tech & the World, I’ve never bothered to use the one tool specifically set up to bring the news to the user: RSS (see the video below for a complete explanation of RSS). I’ve gotten away with using Twitter as a kind of RSS feed. Along with the podcasters, I also subscribed to CNN, Ars Technica, and the AP. And having the constant flow of data along the left pane of my browser or easily accessible on my phone works just fine for me. Alas, things probably would have stayed that way were I not now tasked with tracking the musings, thoughts and frustrations of my 57 students scattered among 57 blogs. Damn. So I put out the call today amongst my learned colleagues for their choice in RSS apps and the stumbled upon a solution right under my nose.

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Jacob’s Ladder & JBB’s Desktop Blogs Updated & Moved

Done… Man, what a pain in the ass! But it’s done. All of these blogs previous entries (going all the way back to 2003!) have been moved to main blog. Next job is to create different page templates for each blog category. Yeah. Simplify and diversify at the same time. What a f-ing geek am I. jbb Continue reading Jacob’s Ladder & JBB’s Desktop Blogs Updated & Moved

No Web 2.0 Friends

the_outcast.jpg The week began with me catching some playful hell for twittering while I was supposed to be “judging” my friends’ game of Trivial Pursuit. I only volunteered to “judge” because I was the fifth wheel and preferred drinking my beer, watching the traffic go by and offering an occasional opinion than committing to the game. Actually the fact that my co-workers were aware of Twitter was noteworthy (though none of them are active twitter participants). So here I am, surrounded by some very brilliant people who are always looking at new technology trends, but in this case not seeing the point of things like Twitter. If my awesome co-workers don’t get it, what’s the chances that unwashed masses will get it? Or, like, my family?

I told a co-worker that Twitter is my virtual water-cooler where I get a ton of info, sometimes amazing, often mundane. Other’s use RSS readers to keep up on what’s happening on the Tech world. Since I first signed up and discovered that most of the tech voices that I listen to or watch are on Twitter, Twitter has been my “RSS” feed. Besides the “A” list bloggers, I’ve “met” so many other interesting voices in tech and in church things and in education. And sometimes it was just the amazing serendipity of getting a notice that so-and-so is following your twitter and then checking out their website and discovering someone interesting that they’re following. For example, some time earlier in the year I got a notice that this “old hippy*” living in Maine was following me (*he’s probably younger than moi). When i checked out his website I found some amazing videos and found someone else he was following, a young journalist living in NYC named Alana Taylor who perfectly expressed this frustration of being alone in the Web 2.0 world:

What To Do When NONE
of Your Friends Use Web 2.0
by Alana Taylor

I have a problem. I am addicted to social networking sites. But I have no one to social network WITH! All my friends (who are mostly girls) think Web 2.0 is a type of advanced cellulite-reducing body lotion. And when I try to explain what it really is, they get annoyed, confused, and impatient.

They don’t care. They don’t want to know.

Do you have this same problem? If you do, then I know exactly how you feel.

Like me, you have a lot of “real” friends on Facebook or MySpace, but none at all on the new start-ups like Pownce, Virb, BrightKite, FriendFeed, etc. Who is going to share pictures with you on Flickr? Who is going to recommend songs on Last.FM? Who is going to tell you about their latte on Twitter? How are you going to tell someone about ALANA TAYLOR??

alanataylor.jpgYou feel like you are in the dark, and there is no hope for you in the social online world.

Well, there is no need to get down on yourself just yet! Even as little as two months ago, I was exactly in your position. I figured “if my friends don’t do it, I can’t do it.”

So how can you go about making friends on the new sites? Here’s what I did:

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Not A Twitter Whore

I was hanging out with friends Saturday night, typical night out downtown with the gang, having a few brewskies, some fondue, a little friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. I was the designated “fifth wheel” so I decided to be the judge of the match between a co-worker, her husband and another coworker and his roommate. A fun time was being had by all. So I twittered about it. No big deal. Well, some time later Laura read my twitter and complained vehemently (in my Facebook) and in the office that I wasn’t doing my job, which is why she lost the game of Trivial Pursuit. What… er… WTF? When I got to the office I was greeted with the following video and a lot of giggling …

Pretty damn funny, and sadly I totally could relate to the “twitter down” panic… Damn, does that make me a T-W?

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