Interesting examples of RSS from around the Twitterverse
After a packed two-hour lecture at Napier University yesterday it was great to get chatting to some of the students afterwards in their practical seminar. What emerged was that there is so much to learn in new technologies, even for these software engineers, network analysts and business analysts, the specialists of the future. Degree courses by their (current) nature silo information so much that they can be experts in one thing, and know nothing about a potentially related technology.
For one small group, spending 20 minutes having a play with RSS feeds for the first time turned out to be a real thrill, especially since it's so much easier to manipulate than when our school was producing its first podcasts three years ago. I had great fun finally getting some more time to play with Yahoo Pipes, whose way of showing you where all your bits have come from is particularly charming.
I put out a quick Twitter 'miniblog' asking for my friends' ideas on what might constitute an 'interesting' manipulation of RSS, where the web is brought together into one place, and got the following: an eclectic bunch of RSS aggregations, single feeds and mashups. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments below:
John Johnston provided a plethora of homemade products, from his del.icio.us links, which are normally pretty ugly to look at, being fed through into a prettier Tumblog, to the ScotEduBlogs aggregator, produced with Robert and Peter, which brings together educational blogs and allows users to subscribe to blogs coming from particular locations around the country. John also showed how we can take the tag of an event, for example, and create a portal around that in a few clicks: this is one for the TeachMeet07 event. Likewise, David Warlick pointed to his Hitchhikr, which aggregates information on a wide range of conferences.
Elizabeth came up with a portal around all recent things to do with the Wikinomics book, and a digital ethnography portal which would be useful for anyone trying to get under the skin of why we love these new technologies so much.
LTS and Glow colleague AB points to an app that allows YouTube homepage to be used in a flash environment, underpinned by RSS, while Will pointed to his Darfur news portal, bringing information, pictures and video from there and, at the moment, Tibet.
What are your favourite examples of RSS being used in useful ways? Let us know; I'm sure the developers of tomorrow would appreciate your tips.
Pic: RSS pipes