Fact: RSS and Twitter are my top 2 favourite things on the Internet. Big call I know, but it’s been this way since 2007. And 4 years is a long time in internet years.
Recently the CPD23 crew asked us to consider current awareness tools on the interwebs: namely Twitter, RSS, & Pushnote. As I am completely new to Pushnote, the following are my thoughts on twitter & rss. (I *may* write on Pushnote in the future.)
In the past I’ve referred to Twitter as my dear other spouse. I stand by this. I totally rate Twitter as my current favourite online socialising, networking & sharing tool. As I mentioned before, for me Twitter is the King of:
- sharing links, info, and quick advice
- real-time searching
- short, sharp quip-laden conversations
- staying up-to-date – follow industry people & get their thoughts as they have them & read/view what they deem sharable
- virtually being there – “attend” conferences/concerts/demonstra
tionsby following hashtags & hear what the backchannel really thinks
- democratising the web – I can tweet anyone, anything, instantly. No more searching for email addresses or phone numbers & fretting about how to say what I feel in wordy emails or (gasp!) phone calls. Just tweet them your thoughts or query in 140 characters. You may even get a reply!
My advice for twitter:
- Get a short username – it makes conversing with you & retweeting your tweets easier, as your username doesn’t eat most of the 140 character limit
- Use a twitter client NOT the website – it will change your experience & opinion of Twitter completely. Repeat: do NOT use the website (try tweetdeck, etc)
- @ reply people to get involved in the conversations – this is integral to “getting the whole twitter thing”
- fill in your profile & perhaps be yourself
- follow #hashtags
- stick with it
I love how twitter flicks me around the intermehnet as I follow tweeted links & hashtags. In this way, twitter is a huge part of my how I keep up to date with my hobbies, my profession & my learning. Not just a real-time communication tool offering friendly advice, humour, insight, and professional support, twitter is a crowd-sourced RSS feed that I trust & benefit from extensively.
Enter: The Segue…
RSS is The Business.
It makes the net drivable. Given there are a gazillion billion sites out there, it is hard to keep up with what you want, right? Hard no more. Since I began using RSS I have control over the many, many sights I frequent, and I always remember to read my favourites. At the least, I have them stored to read later.
The bestest things about RSS:
- it’s searchable! Read something fascinating but can’t remember where? Search your feeds: brilliant!
- you can stop bookmarking endless sites & opening many, many sites each day and simply open your reader
- folders keep like feeds together
- reduce your inbox by unsubscribing via email to your many fave sites & subscribe via your reader instead
My advice for RSS:
- create & use folders
- subscribe to pertinent comment streams to continue your conversations in the blogosphere
- I use googlereader and I highly recommend it
- if you have your own blog/website, add prominent RSS posts AND comments feed buttons to your site
I tell people I love RSS & Twitter. I do adore these tools, and I need them. If you are into sharing & simplifying web navigation, then I suggest you need them too.