Our communication landscape in 2011 is not just one where information is "pushed" to others with technologies like email. It is also characterized by "pull" technologies which allow people to (among other things) create customized digital newspapers that combine multiple information sources.
What is a web feed? (or RSS)
This 3 min, 45 second video (RSS in Plain English) provides a nice overview of RSS.
Review the WikiPedia article for "web feed" for additional background information.
Aggregator Options and Examples
Many different tools are available which serve as "aggregators" to collect and display web feeds. Review the WikiPedia article for "news aggregator" for a lengthier definition. Some include:
- NetVibes (example: Michael Wesch's 2011 Digital Ethnography Project - more background available)
- Google Reader
- See the WikiPedia article "Comparison of Feed Aggregators" for links to additional aggregators.
Google Reader in Plain English (1 min, 6 sec) provides a great overview of Google Reader
Benefits of Digitally Investing in Google Reader
Web-based aggregators permit users to access them from any web browser, as well as a number of third party mobile applications. Google Reader is a flexible, web-based news aggregator / feed reader which is integrated into various third-party mobile apps as well as websites. Some examples include:
- FlipBoard (free aggregator app for the iPad)
- Reeder (commercial aggregator app for iOS devices - iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)
Subscription Suggestions for Google Reader
- Create a custom Google Alert (and subscribe with Google Reader, rather than email or SMS)
- NPR Feeds
- Wesley's Education Blog Subscriptions
- Google Reader now provides subscription recommendations