I know this has been circulating around out there, but title links to a RSS feed generator for Amazon searches. My library people in the workshop yesterday were oooooing and ahhhhhing over this, as were most of the English folk. Actually, I think any avid reader should be having the same reaction. I’ve set up a whole bunch of feeds for myself in a separate Amazon folder…stuff like media, and journalism, and Chicago Cubs. I don’t know if this is Amazon’s doing, but they’re smart to do it if it is. Word is Rolling Stone is on the same track, and of course there are the venerable old New York Times feeds that I track first thing every morning. I can’t even begin to explain how RSS is changing my information consumption habits.
As with anything else, until you start using this stuff, seeing the power of it, you can’t really get the potential. Some of the teachers yesterday were already saying things like “you mean parents could subscribe to their kids Web log?” and I’d just nod my head and see the wheels starting to turn. The English teachers pretty much decided on the spot yesterday to trash the paper portfolios that kids hand up every year and give them Web logs with feeds. It doesn’t take much to see how much easier everyone’s life would be…no more lugging boxes of folders. No more hand sorting. An organized, accessible from anywhere, no weight, illustrated, archived, multi-participant portfolio/Web log complete with auto notification of new content that grows over the course of four years to provide a basis for some MEANINGFUL exit reflection on what the heck a kid learned, exactly. Um, hello? Any takers?
I told those teachers yesterday, “You want to teach with Web logs? Start a Web log!” Use RSS. Get your hands dirty. If you don’t, you’ll never really get it.