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Higher Education

RSS Feeds

It is difficult to keep up with developments in technology and new media. And once you find a topic that interests you, there is a flood of announcements and breakthroughs that you need to stay on top of. How can you determine what is important in that sort of situation?

One way to keep on top of things, and gain some perspective, is to employ an RSS (really simple syndication) reader. For some years the best way to do this was through a web service provided by Google, called Google Reader. Sadly, Google Reader was discontinued in 2013. In its place, however, a number of new services have emerged, including Feedly. This article from The Verge provides both a list of alternatives to Google Reader and is a good example of how to keep up in a turbulent space: “follow” some key web sites that do that work for you.

Although many reader programs try to help you by suggesting sites that you might want to follow, they tend to take a scattershot approach, offering up sports, entertainment, and political news bundled together with media and technology sites. I would suggest that you avoid that and start with a “clean slate.” Build up your collection of links—and your ability to keep on top of the news flood—gradually. When you find a new site that interests you, see if it offers a “feed” (generally you can test this by copying and pasting the home page for the site into your feed reader; it will find and install the appropriate link information for you).

In the next section of this document I have provided a sampling of web sites that offer up RSS feeds and which touch on the topics covered in this text.