This past spring I was working on a workshop to help learning professionals who were novices with web 2.0 technologies understand the basics of blogs, wikis and rss. obviously, i wanted to keep everything as simple as possible without watering he content down to a point that would render it useless. in addition, I wanted the 90 minute workshop to be as hands-on as possible.
I figured the best way for the participants to truly understand wikis was to just get in and use one. So much of the activities involved them editing a wiki I create for the workshop. i also shared jon udall’s heavy metal umlaut video. it never fails to help people grasp the concept of a wiki far more easily than i can explain it.
With blogs, I created a graphic heavy “anatomy of a blog” that I’ll share with you in the near future.
When it came down to RSS, i, of course, pointed to stephanie quilio’s fabulous post on back in skinny jeans – how to explain rss the oprah way. but as wonderful as the oprah explanation is, it leaves much of the power of rss beyond the basic learner.
As i played with it, i came to realize that there are really only three quite simple purposes for rss: to publicize, organize, and guide. Simple as 1-2-3!
To publicize what you’ve written. Every blog publishing platform that i’m aware of includes at least an rss feed of the posts to the blog. some offer comments feeds or specific post and comment feeds. or you can create a feed in any number of tools like feedburner and then share it with your readers and other communities so that what you write can be seen easily by others.
To organize what you read. this is what quilio’s oprah definition covers. via feed aggregators, email feeds, or mobile feeds, you can decide exactly what you’d like to be presented with to read.
To tell others what they should read. you can use tools like grazr, mysyndicaat, or yahoo pipes to create a list of current readings from multiple blogs. you can then present that new list on your blog, wiki or website for your readers’ edification.
That pretty much covers the key purposes for the use of rss. at least as far as the very basic concepts of the technology. it seemed to satisfy the participants of the workshop as they gave me unanimous 5’s for the content of the workshop.
Powered by Qumana
Follow Up on Firefox: Atom vs RSS – Technology Evangelist
The .Mac Reader RSS app for iPhone is awesome – tuaw.com
RSS Mixer stacks up your feeds – Webware/Cnet
Some of my recent related posts
exemplary elearning solutions
what is a “good example”
presenting about blogs
the dark side reaches the blogosphere –