Week 4 Reflect: RSS Feeds

Although I have heard of them, I have never before made use of rss feeds until now. I do see how they can be very useful for information professionals, albeit I cannot help but notice that they seem to be a technology that is coming out of vogue, especially with the recent demise of Google Reader and the rise of twitter and other social media.

Rss feeds do, however, have a number of useful qualities, the most important of which seems to me to be their ability to save people time. This is essential for professionals, who are most likely looking to get work done as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is something library professionals are likely to be familiar with, as tightening budgets force libraries to do more with less. The tool can also be used as a reminder to visit a site which might otherwise be forgotten or overlooked due to the over-abundance of information available online.

I would see rss feeds as being especially important in a course such as inn333 information programs, as keeping track of the many blogs that are currently being written by the students participating in this class can be quite overwhelming. I have added a few sites to my new rss feed so far, and I can certainly see how twitter may have begun to overshadow rss feeds somewhat, as I have noticed that much of the information delivered through my rss feed is also available through my twitter feed. I would imagine however, that using an rss feed may well make more sense for receiving updates for important information, as twitter updates can be easily missed if the feed is not checked very frequently. Essentially, however, it would come down to a matter of preference as to which way each person wishes to receive his or her information.

In conclusion, rss feeds are a great time saving tool, and are likely to be used most frequently by busy professionals or anyone looking to be organised and efficient, however other available news feeds are now beginning to eclipse them.

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