Before I began this semester, I hadn't the faintest idea what an RSS feed was. Never heard of it before. Not only did this Learning 2.0 activity enlighten me as to what they are, but made me realize that I have been missing out on a really nifty tool. Of the different activities I have explored thus far, I think learning about RSS feeds and setting up my own Google Reader account has been the most useful. I know I'll be checking out all of my subscriptions in Google Reader every day. Even though the activity called for only 10 subscriptions, I think I ended up with something like 40...got a little carried away I guess! I know I'll be adding more too. My favorite source for RSS feeds turned out to be Reader's Club. I subscribed to a bunch of book feeds there. Real-Time Search and Technorati were fairly useful. I also subscribed to several newsfeeds pertaining to world and local news, such as BBC News, the Buffalo News, and a news channel back home in Rochester.
What I like most about RSS feeds and Google Reader is that it makes keeping up to date on anything (news, books, music, etc.) so gosh darn easy. I can just scroll through the titles and read what I want. I can make comments, e-mail or even tag what's listed. Moreover, everything is in one place, so I don't have to spent extra time going to individual websites and scouring through them to find what I need.
I think using this application can be useful in a library setting. I mentioned the Reader's Club where I got feeds on books. That source was from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina where they not only have feeds for books, but also on upcoming events, movies, jobs, and more. It is a great way for patrons to stay informed about what's going on in the library without always having to go to the library's website or the library itself. I also like how Charlotte Mecklenburg Library categorized its RSS feeds, which made it easy to pick what you wanted. At the bottom, it also explained what RSS feeds are, how to get started and what you have to do to subscribe to newsfeeds, which is definitely helpful for a person like me who is such a newbie to all of this!