Category Archives: RSS and Content

Talking Social Media in Libraries on Bibliotech Podcast from TTW Contributor Troy Swanson

I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Bibliotech Podcast. We talked about social media in libraries, library website design, libraries as loosely coupled systems and other topics.

Social Media in Libraries
(here’s a link to the show notes: Bibliotech 26 show notes)

Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book, Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.

Web 2.0 & Libraries Parts 1 & 2 Available Free on Hyperlinked Library Site

I am happy to announce the full text of both of my ALA Library Technology Reports are available now at the new TTW companion site The Hyperlinked Library.

The rest of the site is currently under construction, but for now you’ll find:

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software (2006) –

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Trends & Technologies (2007) –

Special thanks to my SJSU SLIS grad assistant Patrick Siebold who worked very hard the past few weeks inputting the content. I know the examples from ’06 and ’07 may seem out of date and quaint in some ways, but I’m very proud of the framework we used for the works back then. Conversations, Community, Connections, Collaborations – all those great C words Jenny Levine and I used throughout our early social software roadshows in 2005 & 2006 provide a useful context for looking at Web 2.0. I hope these works are still useful to some of you. Comments are open for adding more to the chapters and I plan on doing some types of updating as time permits.

The site will also serve my course Web sites and other items related to my teaching. 

Struggling with Feeds & “In Box Zero”


I drove back to Indiana Wednesday night (yes, in our awful weather) to work on my Australia talks and get caught up with some outstanding writing. I’ve found I am super-productive in my home workspace!

On the drive back, as I often do, I got caught up on my favorite podcasts, including one I’d been meaning to listen to for a while: Merlin Mann’s “In Box Zero” Talk at Goggle from last year. I’m a fan of Mann’s take on productivity, mac use and technology. In the talk he discusses how he manages his email with some practices based on “getting Things Done” by David Allen. It’s rather fascinating how he hones in on how some of us “live in our inboxes.”

I realized while listening that I wanted to blog about this, and then yesterday I catch a tweet from Cliff Landis that he was “struggling with too many RSS feeds.” In a bit of synchronicity, Merlin Mann also discusses RSS feeds toward the end of the talk. The tips for dealing with clutter also carries to feeds and other work technologies.

His summary tips:

  • Do email less.
  • Schedule email dashes – once per hour.
  • Use filters to control email/RSS

His blog series on “In Box Zero” is here:

Checkout the video here:

How do TTW readers deal with email? With “too many feeds?”

Update: Are there too many social sites? 

RSS Feed Parser at Moraine Valley

Troy Swanson writes:

This is very cool. Our IT department has helped out the by putting up our own Feed Parser. Now, sure what a feed parser it? Basically, it’s a tool that lets you take display an RSS feed in a Web page (Blackboard page, blog, etc) as a bulleted list. It is an easy way for the less technically savvy faculty members to incorporate outside content into course sites. I’ve put together this Feed parser help page to explain how this works a bit more. 

Article: Sink or Swim: Managing RSS Feeds with Better Groups

Great post at one of my favorite productivity blogs, 43 Folders:

So it dawned on me to group my feeds by the way in which I want to read them, not by topic. If there were some feeds that I didn’t mind missing, and some of which I wanted to read every single word, I should organize them that way, not by their putative subject areas. Here’s what I came up with:

News – Self-explanatory, but specifically feeds from traditional news outlets like the New York Times, BBC, et al that pump out so much stuff I can’t possibly hope to keep up. I usually read this group starting with the newest items first, and stop and delete the rest when I get tired. I won’t miss anything; if I get behind, most of those items are either updates on breaking stories, or tidbits I’ve already heard elsewhere on TV or the radio.

Can’t Miss – Again, pretty obvious, but these are my favorite sites, ones where I want to at least scan every single item, like blogs of friends, publications where I write, etc. Not just anything can go in here—this group has a high barrier to entry to keep its volume manageable.

Skip ‘Em – The aforementioned feeds that I like to read when I have time, but don’t mind missing either. Grouping them together like this makes it easy to dump them en masse on one of those days where I just don’t have the time or energy. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to subscribe to every bleeping feed you see; I still try to keep this bunch to a minimum.

Not News – This is a combination of the Can’t Miss and Skip ‘Em groups. I usually like to read the standard news over breakfast, then save this one for later. It also makes a nice subset to peruse later in the day when I’ve had my fill of the ticker tape feeds. This is another area where Google Reader helped out, because it uses a tagging model that makes it easy to group things in multiple folders.

Great advice for anyone dealing with a mountain of feeds and finite time.