Well, my Manila aggregator seems good but not great. It’s already clear that it’s not the ultimate solution for what I have planned, but it will work okay for my classroom experiments. I’m hoping Jake and Dave continue to develop it, or I’m hoping that someone else will develop another Web based RSS aggregator that allows for some flexibility in design and use.
What doesn’t make it for me? There’s a lack of organization, for one thing. As Seb says, “Just throwing everything on one long page in chronological order doesn’t work for me.” Amen. There’s no way to separate feeds into folders so I can keep my students’ feeds separate from my journalism feeds or my teacher Web logger feeds, etc. And I don’t like of having to create one long menu /checklist that lumps student feeds in with all the others. Imagine if we ever do get 1,000 Web logs up and running here. How much fun will it be to a) add all of those sites to the list and b) find the ones that you want to subscribe to? Also, it’s not working correctly with my student sites, and I’m not sure why? (Is there a limit to how much info can be aggregated? Why do some of the feeds show only the most recent posts and other show every post in the student’s Web log?)
I’m a little bit frustrated by all of this because once again these tools aren’t being built for educators. We don’t stay at the same work station all day. We do a lot of our work at home, and if we’re going to use Web logs with students, we’re going to need to be able to pull those feeds together from lots of places. (I graded some work while I was in SF sitting in a Cyber Cafe for cryin’ out loud.) Seems like there must be a pretty big population out there who isn’t tied to a desk or a laptop but would still want to use RSS without having to duplicate the subscription process on every machine they use. Right?