Ok, so happy birthday to Bloglines, and guess what? We get a present! Cool! The new and improved Bloglines looks sleeker, number one, and adds a whole bunch more fun stuff to play with, number two. Included in that second part is a clip blog where you can post and comment on what you find, just like in a regular Weblog. (Here’s mine.) And of course, once you find a clip blog that you want to follow, you can easily subscribe to it in Bloglines. It’s also easier to just save clippings into various folders that you set up for your own content management.
Some other new stuff from the press release:
Bloglines Directory, a listing of all news feeds indexed by Bloglines with added features not seen in typical directories. Bloglines Directory also supports the community qualities of blogging and feed reading, and allows users to view the news feeds others are reading to discover new sources and learn from people with similar interests. Bloglines Top Links, a tracking and ratings feature that calls out the most popular feed and blog articles each day, and highlights topic trends that are gaining (or losing) popularity in the blogosphere. Bloglines Recommendations, a feature that offers Amazon.com-like tailored suggestions of other feeds and blogs you might like based on your current subscription interests.
At first blush, this looks like a great step for Bloglines. I’ve been thinking about the content management piece of this new literacy stuff fairly often, looking to Furl as the best tool feature-wise. The problem with Furl from a teaching standpoint is that you have to be able to carry the “Furl it!” link on your toolbar, something that isn’t going to happen with our classroom machines at least. (I wonder if there is a way to use it as a bookmark…) Bloglines is web-based and therefore would be easier to access. But I’m not quite sure yet how it would differ from setting up students with their own sites to perform pretty much the same function.
I have to play more, obviously, but hearty congratulations to Mark Fletcher and his crew for giving us more to experiment with. There is a great deal of effort being put into information management that will have implications for teachers and students…the fun part is figuring it all out.
Great idea about adding the “Furl It” link as a bookmark. I just tried it on my home computer with both Mozilla and IE. I used it both at school and at home last year and it worked like a charm. I had my students create del.icio.us accounts and drag the shortcut to their links toolbar. I checked with our techies and they said that it wouldn’t be a problem. It worked great when the students were working on projects together. When they were working together on an assignment, they simply bookmarked their partners’ links pages. One student could say, “Check out the link I just found!” The other student could then find it with a couple of clicks, without the problem of misspelling the url.
Fifteen years of teaching and I am finding more and more great new tools every year. I want to thank you for all of the work you have done and, more importantly, for your willingness to share it with the rest of us. I have always believed that there should be a more collegial atmosphere among educators, though many teachers are not willing to share what works well for them. I think that it makes me a better teacher to share what I can with others.