English 384:PQQ - Writing for Electronic Media (Spring 2009)
Michael J. Cripps, Ph.D.

Feeds/Reader - Individual Blog Mini-Assignment

Subscribe to the RSS Feed

This is a 15 minute assignment that will take less time if you're good with copy-paste and switching between browser tabs/windows.

Your Task

  1. Make sure you have the "Site Feed" settings on your Individual Blog activated. This is easy and should take under 2 minutes once you're logged into your blog. In fact, it is almost certainly ALREADY activated by default. (View screencast for assitance if you have any trouble.)
  2. Activate "Google Reader" in your Google account and subscribe to each student's blog feed, the course blog feed, AND the course website feed. Find links to the student blogs on the Blogroll in the course blog. (Again, if you have any difficulties, view the screencast.)

Why the **** Are We Doing This?

  1. We read electronic media, right? It's hard to keep track of all that stuff, especially if we have to remember to jump all over the place to do it. A feed reader enables you to pull all the content into one central location (your dashboard, homepage, etc.) This assignment helps you experience how this can work.
  2. As you write for the web, you want to be thinking about your readers and how they'll "receive" your content. Feeding your content through RSS (or, in the case of Blogger, Atom) enables you to shoot your content right into your readers' inboxes!
  3. This assignment makes you use the Google Reader tool. But there are tons of other tools out there. Many email programs can pull in feeds as email, social networking sites make it possible to subscribe to feeds. It's posslbe to install a dashboard "widget" on a Mac to pull feeds right into your dashboard. And your web browser can almost certainly handle the feed subscription and display updates for you in a ticker, dropdown menu, or across the top of the page. I make us do this because it opens up doors. After you subscribe through the Google Reader, take the next step and make it your own by subscribing to the feeds through your preferred web tool. This way you'll actually USE a feed reading tool in your online life.

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