Simple Feed Rolling for GReader Users – Bundles

One of the most common requests that I can think of from newcomers to the “loosely coupled teaching” approach is:

“How do I roll together a number of feeds and produce a single RSS feed for them.”

Over the years I’ve recommended any number of approaches, from Yahoo Pipes to Grazr. But in trying to share a bunch of feeds with a colleague today, I stumbled on a feature of Google Reader I hadn’t used before that makes this dead easy. Named “Bundles,” these are essentially a simple way to publish a web page that represents a folder of RSS feeds from your reader. To make a bundle, simply click on a folder in Google Reader

Click a folder's options

Then Save it…

Save the Bundle

And voila, what results is a public HTML page aggregating the feed, with a subscribe button, as well as a link to the ATOM feed and OPML file.

Resulting "Bundle"

I’m not suggesting everyone has to drop their current approaches and flock to GReader, just that this is yet another simple technique to add to the basket that makes combining, remixing and repurposing content that flows via RSS just that much easier. And that has to be a good thing. – SWL

Learning Sciences and Educational Technology Google Group

Just in case you missed the announcement over on EdTechDev, Doug Holton of Utah State University has put together an announcement service via Google Groups. As Doug notes, many announcements for conference calls for papers or grants in our field happen via email on closed mailing lists, and in an effort to open this up (as well as make the info available via RSS), Doug is reposting them to this group. While it may be of most use to US readers, it is still a valuable public service, so thanks, Doug. – SWL

So Long Bloglines…

Unlike most of the of the other cool kids, I’ve had a hard time kicking my bloglines habit for newer tools. A case of “if it ain’t broke…”

Well, sad to say, it is broke. It’s probably a familiar refrain to others who’ve made the leap, but after the umpteenth time of Bloglines acting funny, I sent yet another email to their support folks. Only to get a self-referential email from them telling me to refer to the below ‘discussion thread’ for their response, only to see my original email with another message to ‘refer to the discussion thread’ and so on…

So Google Reader, here I come baby! The basics seem pretty straightforward but there are some things I still just don’t grok. Hopefully I will get a chance at Northern Voices to query better minds than mine about this – I lament cogdog’s absence, but my friend Jason Toal (that’s dj draggin to the rest of you punks) seems to have a hnadle on it too. – SWL

Integrating Library Reserves and Course Management Systems: Aleph, RSS, and Sakai

Hey, I’m as excited about the potential of service-oriented architectures and the ‘loosely coupled’ appproach as the next guy, but on a regular basis I find myself lamenting the seeming lack of real world working examples one can currently point to.

Yet every time I feel this way, along comes another presentation like this one, in this case describing the use of RSS to display library resource holdings within the Sakai CMTools application, that help me believe the grand vision of diversity and choice with stability and integration may actually come true. So don’t dispair; ‘network economy’ effects to the contrary, slowly cracks are forming in the vendor lockdown and silos we all lament … really … I think. – SWL

Edubloggers Links Feed – Join In!

It’s been two months now since I started subscribing to an aggregated feed of FURL and feeds from various EdTech bloggers. It’s been a very fruitful experiment, and according to Bloglines at least 9 other subscribers seem to think so as well. For me it is providing a second channel of good resources with just enough context (e.g. the fact that they are all edtech bloggers I respect) to know they are worth considering but without the reading committment that blogs require.

This post is simply another shout out to any EdTech bloggers out there who also maintain a FURL, or other bookmarking site that offers RSS feeds to add their’s to this site – it’s open to anyone to add to. Currently the really active source feeds are from the cogdog, Brian, D’Arcy, Will Richardson, Trey Martindale and Greg Ritter, but there are tons of other folks whose interesting URLs I’d love to see.SWL

Not Bloglines’ Problem After All

Looks like my earlier post may have been an overreaction (won’t be the first time), but not without productive results. The reason I posted my email to bloglines publicy was because I had heard from a few folks I asked that they had experienced similar problems, and also that they felt they were getting stock ‘we’re looking into it’ responses.

But luckily it also drew the attention of one-time fellow blogger Greg Ritter (Greg, come back, we miss you 😉 who cannily diagnosed the problem as likely being caused by extensions to Firefox that were messing with how Javascript was behaving. A quick google indicated this was entirely likely, and sure enough, disabling most of the extensions and upgrading a few others seems to have fixed the problem. I now have to go back and figure out systematically *which* extension caused the problem, but this test (along with checking Bloglines in a few other browsers) confirmed Greg’s hunch. My bad. So a tentative hurray that Bloglines seems to be working o.k. Note this is a different problem then the one that Michale Feldstein’s feed has been suffering, and I continue to be concerned that other feeds are similarly affected. – SWL

Letter to Bloglines

(O.k., I promised the one before was my last one today, but you know… procrastination and all that)

For the sake of posterity, here is the email I wrote Bloglines tech support today. I would urge others to do likewise who are experiencing the same problem.

“Hi, I contacted you a few weeks back about this problem, and since then have canvassed a number of other bloggers and learned they too are experiencing this problem. There is a regular, reproducable problem with bloglines correctly updating the feed count ofr a feed but then not displaying the feed content if that feed is selected (unless one forces the ‘last x hours’ of content to be displayed.) This is a SERIOUS problem. I love bloglines. I know it is free. If it doesn’t get fixed, though, I think this would bode very ill for continued user loyalty and adoption. A *detailed* reply would be appreciated, I’ve had the ‘we’re working on it’ responses before. Maybe something in your news feed? People know about this problem. If it is a question of being with specific feeds, let us know and we can tell you which ones it happens with (because it does seem feed specific). thanks, Scott Leslie, Edtechpost (”

FreeLists – Free mailing lists with RSS feeds

(This has GOT to be my last post today! If you’ve ever wondered why my posts are so short, it isn’t because I have nothing to say 😉

Thought this would be interesting to the ‘small pieces’crowd – is a free email listserving service (with no advertising and industrial strength admin controls on your lists). I’ve used it for a number of projects in the past where I didn’t have access to my own mail server and wanted to run a list. It provides users with their own web-based admin as well as web-based archives, and (what prompted this post) just announced the availability of RSS feeds for any of the list archives. They do say the lists must be ‘technology focused’ but in the past I have found them willing to accept ‘educational technology’ as easily fitting that bill. Free. Web-based. RSS. Seems like at least 3 of the magic words these days. – SWL

New URL for Combined Edubloggers Links Feed

A few weeks back I posted about a feed I had created using that rolled together the RSS feeds from such Edublogging luminaries as Alan Levine, Brian Lamb and Will Richardson.

No sooner did this get started then announces that it is closing its doors (lending some real credibility to Derek Morrison’s recent musings about aggregator business models).

No worries though. The same feed has been recreated and is now available through Blogdigger at the above URL (the RSS feed is Truth be told Blogdigger is the nicer of the two services in any case – I left the settings on this group as ‘Unmoderated’ meaning people can add their feeds here too if they choose, something unavailable through I noticed about a dozen folks had subscribed in Bloglines to this feed, and possibly more elsewhere, so be forewarned. I will leave the original feed as is but at some point I expect will just pull the plug.

So far this has proven a fruitful experiment, leading to a dozen or so really valuable references that fellow edubloggers Furl’d but did not post to their blogs. – SWL

Rolling Up Furl and Del.icio.Us Feeds from Edubloggers

It seems ‘de rigeur’ for the cutting edge edtech blogger to have at the very least a Furl or bookmark account in addition to their blog (let’s not even talk about Flickr for right now).

Some, like Alan, have taken the further step of rolling their blog and Furl feeds together (and in Alan’s case his Flickr feed as well). This makes sense as it keeps the unique individual’s perspective attached to the feed.

But not everyone has taken this step; lots of folks have separate Furl and sites/feeds. I’ve been subscribing to one or two of them in the past, but wanted to get all the ed tech bloggers’ bookmark feeds in one place. So off I went to, where I created a new RSS feed that rolled up the Furl or RSS feeds from Alan, Brian Lamb, James Farmer, Greg Ritter, George Siemens, Trey Martindale, Harold Jarche, Will Richardson, D’Arcy Norman and myself. I would have added more, but these were all I could find.

So the handy thing about this is that I can subscribe to one feed in my bloglines account and see all the URLs collected by all these brainy folks. The downside is that many of these brainy folks read the same things as I do, and the same feeds as each other, and so there ends up being a fair bit of duplication in the feed.

Which leads me on to the idea that another value-added that either Furl or could offer (maybe they do?) is ‘group feeds,’ that is, a feed for a set of Furl’ers, but one that recognizes common URLs and groups them like the main site does.

Anyways, feel free to subscribe to the feed if you are interested. I don’t plan to take it down, though it is still an experiement for me to see how much useful stuff comes out of it. If you want your bookmark feed added to this feed, let me know too. – SWL