Tag Archives: RSS

Tips for Today

There are so many great sources of info out there—I have my RSS feed pulled into my iGoogle page, and it’s great for procrastination.

It’s also pretty great for getting snippets of info. Here are just a few from today:

  • 50 Social Media Tips for NPOs from Chad Norman’s ‘Webby Things’
  • Connection Cafe’s notes about non-traditional & year-end giving (including Oxfam’s campaign) this season
  • Current favorite food blogger David Leibovitz has something to say about local foods in France. No one said I was limited to just nonprofit interests!
  • I’ve got some other ‘learning locations’ linked over to the right. How about you? Where do you get your best ‘nonprofits on the web’ (or other!) info–blogs or otherwise?

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    Filed under Links, Tool

    Step 2: Get Organized

    Narrow the Field
    There’s going to be a lot of ways to be distracted on social networks, so plan your windows of time and choose your arsenal. Listening is a good way to get started, but there’s plenty to ‘listen’ to out there. Here are some tips for organizing your online listening and reading.
    list
    Consolidate your Reading Material
    RSS, which I wrote about here, is a general term that means ‘really simple syndication’ or in plain English, Read Some Stuff. What it does is allow you to ‘subscribe’ to blogs and news sites. Much like the newspaper delivered to your door, new articles will be delivered to your inbox or your ‘feed reader.’

    If you’re really into reading lots of blogs, try NetVibes, where you can categorize blogs by topic. Categorizing in this way would help me stay on task whereas my current RSS set up on my iGoogle homepage just throws them all together; as a result, I find myself going from a news article to a recipe to a business blog to a non-profit blog–ahgh!

    Label your ‘Folders’
    When you’re exploring things online, it can be like a messy desk. Once you can start organizing websites with topics like folders. For example, you can bookmark your favorite web pages. One way to categorize them is by adding ‘tags’ when you save them to particular locations, e.g. with bookmarking tools available online.

    Tags:
    Tags are words that represent categories. You’ll often see these represented on blogs or sites in a ‘tag cloud’ where the largest, boldest words are the most frequently used. In Delicious, a social bookmarking site, you can tag things for other users by simply adding a tag

    If someone else you know is using Delicious to tag similar interests, you could just ‘follow’ them on your RSS feed. To do so, you click the RSS feed button at the bottom of their account. Here‘s a page of sites referencing library diversity.

    You can also tag pages at news sites. Here‘s a page where travel was used as a tag. By adding tags, you’ll have a page where your selected sites with similar topics–and tags–will be grouped together.

    Lastly, you can keep your own running list of favorite pages on your web broser with the tool Zotero. If you’re doing research on a particular topic, I find this handy button an easy way to mark things for later reading, and to group them by subject tag.

    You’re still going to have to ‘clean out’ your tags and feeds periodically, just like you clean up your inbox and email accounts periodically.

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    Filed under Tool

    Step 1: Listening

    One thing you can resolve to do in the new year is observe what others are talking about and doing with nonprofit social media. Just knowing what’s going on in the wide world of nonprofit social media makes you want to get on the bandwagon.

    Here’s a list of tools to help you find out what others are saying about your brand, your organization, keywords….

    Try these:
    GoogleAlerts See what others are saying! Set up a GoogleAlert to search for stories and posts that reference you, your organization, or topics you’re interested. For example, you can type in “Colorado Association of School Libraries” colorado+library+diversity, and you’ll receive a list of links that include either the organization name or that include all of the words colorado, library, and diversity. This will send you published news stories or blog posts, so if someone is blogging about the great volunteer experience they had with your organization, you’ll know about it!

    RSS Combine the webpages you visit into one! RSS is a way to aggregate various blogs and webpages so you don’t have to visit them individually. You’ll look at your reader and get a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening at the news sites or topical blogs that you’ve asked it to check on.

    To find blogs to read, search for keywords at Google BlogSearch or see Technorati‘s topic list.

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    Filed under Making the Case, Tool, Uncategorized

    RSS–this one will simplify your life!

    I know, you’re thinking ‘What IS this RSS and how can I keep up with all of this new tech stuff? Will it ever end?! I don’t even know what they’re SAYING!’ I know because I said that too!

    And I sympathize. I remember hearing about this ‘aggregator’ thing for blogs, but I didn’t read that many, so I couldn’t picture how that would be any easier than just viewing the blog page directly. I even observed an room full of librarians investing an hour learning about this new tool. Observed because surely I didn’t need to know about RSS–that was for other people.

    And then I’d finally heard enough. The list of blogs I was reading was growing, and it became time-consuming and guilt-producing to either visit them, or not. And there’s a blog I read with lots of older non-savvy readers who were figuring out the site’s new RSS tool; I figured if they could do it, so could I! So I set up an online account with one of the many free RSS readers available. Like with many things 2.0, the set up process just takes a few minutes. And then you’re holding this shiny new ball and are marveling at what to do with it. That’s the part takes longer! You’ve probably even seen a ‘subscribe’ box

    or on a website and wondered what it was.

    So, in short, I picked a feed reader*, chose a log in, and now I can view a single screen that shows me all the new posts in the blogs I read. There’s other bells and whistles, but if you, too, find your list of blogs, news sites and podcasts growing, choose a provider and set up your account. Then you can just visit that one page (oh, there’s more to this, too, but this is a good first step.) over your morning coffee or your evening wine!

    *There’s probably a great, simple list of some of the hundreds of available readers somewhere, but this is just one I found. If you already have a login/password, say, with Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. they probably have an RSS reader that you can tack on to your account, and if one less password is your main criteria for selecting an aggregator, it’s an easy way to choose.

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    Filed under Tool