Saturday, 29 October 2016

Thing 4: Pulling in information

In my blog post from the 2010 round of 23things, Thing 2 was to add the RSS feed for the 23things blog to our iGoogle page.  A couple of weeks later, participant @Skiddie2 recommended Google Reader as the way to keep up with all the blogs that the participants in 23things were making.  My own blog post admitted that RSS generically was something "I've always found less use for than I've felt was expected" but that "perhaps I'll find it necessary in order to keep up with everybody's cam23 blogging."  In the event, I have continued to find little use for RSS feeds generally, but Google Reader was absolutely fit for the purpose of following the blogs that other participants in 23things were writing.

I was not as devastated as some by the demise of Google Reader in 2013.  I had used it mainly for following my fellow 23things participants, and after the second run of 23things in 2011 that purpose was no longer there.  Google Reader was thus presenting me with lots of posts that were of less relevance to me.

This time round, I have signed up for Feedly, Zetoc and Pocket.

Feedly is fulfilling the same role for me that Google Reader did in 2010 and 2011: enabling me to keep up with the blogs of everyone else following this 23 Research Things programme. I tried clicking on those blogs' 'Follow' buttons.  Having done that for all of them at the end of an evening, I was a mite peeved to find that I would now need to set up a Wordpress account for most of the clicks to work. I called it a day there. Thing 4's exposition of Feedly was welcome.

Zetoc (and its rival JournalTOCs, which makes more of open access) are things I have recommended to Haddon users since I heard of them, and the users have been grateful.  The searches I set up for myself, be it admitted, expired in 2012.  I've now set up a new one, to help me keep track of publications about open access.

Pocket -- well, I've set my account up using borrowed computers, and have therefore not added the Pocket button to any browsers.  That may come.  Meanwhile, the first resource I have pocketed is the Scottish composer Chris Hutchings' page Choirs against racism.

Will Pocket come to displace Bitly as my grabber of choice?  Bitly has become pretty entrenched over the last 6-7 years.  I might come to see one-click pocketing as quicker than the string of clicks needed in creating a bitlink -- or I might see the string of clicks as a valuable slowing down.  Such things do exist.

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