June 18, 2013, 2:45 pm
Recently, one of our readers wrote me that she was “trying to figure out if there is a way to have new posts sent directly to my email… When I click on the [ProfHacker] RSS feed link I just get computer language that makes no sense.” If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym RSS and would like to learn more about it, read on for some helpful links. If, instead, you’d like to learn my answer to this question, I’ve managed to figure out a workaround that emails each new ProfHacker post to an email address. First, however, I’m going to provide a few links to posts we’ve published about using RSS feeds:
How to use RSS and RSS readers
We’ve featured several posts that demonstrate what you can do with RSS:
June 11, 2013, 11:55 am
As news nerds everywhere will remember, a couple of months back Google announced (also see George’s post) that they would be closing down Google Reader, which many people used as their RSS reader, and many more used as the backend for their dedicated feed readers. Reader will go away on the first of July.
A July 1 deadline makes it an “after-the-semester” problem, and so I put away thoughts of RSS replacements until after the academic term. But it turns out that the first is only two weeks away–and I do need an RSS replacement! I know that the done thing is to discover news and such via Twitter, but I also use RSS (still!) to keep up with more-infrequently updated sites, often without any sort of social media presence.
Simplifying matters for me is that I use a RSS app called Reeder, which…
March 14, 2013, 8:00 am
If you were on Twitter yesterday, you would have noticed that in addition to many people commenting on the new pope, there was great outrage over Google deciding to shut down its Google Reader service, which is a very handy one-stop-shop for keeping up with all of your RSS feeds.
(Not sure why you would want to do this? Check out Jason’s introduction to RSS, Amy’s explanation of how she uses Google Reader, and Julie’s discussion of RSS readers.)
Google’s explanation for their decision is pretty straightforward: “There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”
That being said, people are not happy.
April 18, 2012, 8:00 am
RSS feeds are great for keeping up with journal article publications as they come out. (We covered the basics previously here. ) But lately I’ve noticed that several of my feeds haven’t updated, and sure enough, I found that some feeds had been changed without proper notification. So I’ve added “check on RSS for all journals that I read” to my to-do list as an item to do at the end of every semester.
How about you? How do you make sure the automated processes you’ve got in place keep going? Have you also noticed a break in article RSS feed updates? Let us know in the comments.
February 28, 2012, 11:00 am
Numerous posts on ProfHacker have considered how to create and sustain a professional online identity, including Miriam Posner’s Primer for Academics, Jentery Sayer’s advice for job candidates, and George’s open thread on personal versus professional websites.
Here I want to introduce a very simple idea for any professor, alt-ac, or student who does indeed have his or her own professional website. It is quite simply: promote your talks and appearances.
In a prominent position on your site, maintain an up-to-date list of upcoming conference presentations, invited talks, readings, gallery shows, or any other appearances that are related to your academic life.
What are the benefits to publicizing your talks this way? Visitors to your site can see what you’re up to. You’ll end up with a record of what you’ve done—an archive that is especially handy when you write your …
November 17, 2011, 8:00 am
The photo in this post expresses what a lot of people seem to be feeling over recent changes to Google Reader (one of many Google tools that’s been mentioned frequently here at ProfHacker). A great deal has been written about the changes since they rolled out a few weeks ago; some users mourn the loss of the old sharing features, while others (myself included) are less than thrilled with the new design.
Those who miss the sharing features might want to check out workarounds such as ReaderSharer, which can restore some of that functionality. For those of us who didn’t use those features but who don’t like the new design, this may be a good time to consider switching to a different RSS reader.
As it happens, I’ve been using Google Reader only sporadically for the last several months, anyway. My usual tool for reading news feeds is Reeder (Mac and iOS only, alas), which I’ve come to…
September 12, 2011, 11:00 am
Twitter has made it increasingly difficult to use RSS as a way to read individual user streams, and more crucially, hashtag streams. Perhaps this is not entirely Twitter’s fault, as RSS (Real Simple Syndication) has become more marginalized as a web tool (witness Firefox’s removal of the RSS icon from the location bar). These moves are a mystery to me, however, for RSS remains the unheralded workhorse of the web.
Why would you want to use RSS and Twitter together?
I can imagine several answers to this question, but I’ll highlight only one here (hoping that ProfHacker readers will supply more in the comments). Quite simply, RSS is a fantastic way to follow—and archive—Twitter search results, for say, a course hashtag.
This is exactly what I do. Whenever I use Twitter in a course, I follow the RSS feed of that hashtag with my desktop email client, which has a built-in RSS reader. …
August 26, 2011, 8:18 am
One of the best parts of of being a union president is that you get invited to new faculty orientation and similar events every year, so you get to meet new colleagues from all over campus. This year, at lunch, the topic of discussion at my table eventually turned toward learning management systems vs. roll-your-own assignments. New part-time faculty often have the experience of having to juggle multiple LMS platforms–one for each campus or system–every semester, which isn’t fun or efficient.
I mentioned a variety of assignments–wikified class notes, blogging, etc.–and, after some initial interest, one of the more experienced faculty said, “sounds like a lot of grading, though.” Which is true! There is an awful lot of grading, more than I’d thought when I started moving toward many of these assignments, years ago.
But there’s a line from David Allen’s Getting Things Done that…
August 10, 2011, 8:00 am
Last week I attended the summer 2011 meeting of the AAPT. When I got back, I received an email from an audience member in my talk, asking some questions about the resources I had mentioned. I’ve got these listed on a resources page on my personal site, which is run by WordPress. But I realized that it could be useful to help others stay apprised to changes to my website that involve more than just blog posts.
I decided to set up some kind of notification system for WordPress Pages – something that was separate from the Feedburner RSS feed that applies to blog posts on my site. Initially, I had in mind only email updates to which people could subscribe. After some fruitless internet searching on my own, I tweeted about what I searching for:
I kept working on the issue, installing a few plugins, making updates to the page, and testing them out. Nothing…