Thursday, 2 May 2013

Thing 4: Subscribing to other blogs (plus an update to Thing 3 instructions!)

Thing 3 update!

A couple of people have mentioned to me that they had problems with Thing 3 - specifically that when they went to, their blog didn't automatically appear there to click on. Well, fear not, it only takes a second to add it - so for anyone for whom it didn't appear, follow these steps; for those of you for whom it worked fine, skip to the Activity below...

Go to again - you'll see a box below the line Burn a feed this instant. Just copy and paste the URL of your new blog into this box, then press Next >>. You'll probably then get taken to an Identify my feed source screen - choose the RSS option rather than the Atom option. Click Next >> again. On the screen which now appears you'll then be able to edit the title and URL of your feed. You can leave them exactly as they appear by default, or edit them if you want to. Click Next >> again, then on the next screen click Skip directly to feed management. That's it - now whenever you go to your feed will appear to be clicked on like it's supposed to!


Now we've made it easy for other people to subscribe to our blogs, in Thing 3, we need to subscribe to some ourselves.

Activity: subscribe to some blogs 

This activity should take around 5 - 10 minutes.

We're going to use a feed-reader called The Old Reader - it originally created to look and feel like Google Reader, which is shortly to be turned off by Google.

(We've chosen Old Reader because it integrates easily with an existing Google account, meaning you don't have to go through any kind of sign-up procedure - but if you're feeling adventurous and want some more options, here's an article on my blog outlining a few - I'd recommend Feedly. Sign up, follow the instructions and have a play.)

First make sure you're still logged into your York account, then go to and choose the Sign in with Google option from near the top-right of the page. It'll ask you to 'Allow Access'; say yes to this. The screen will look much like this:

Click the ADD A SUBSCRIPTION button - you can then copy and paste any RSS feed into the box that appears below it, and it will subscribe to that feed for you. 

For example, try copying and pasting in the feed for this blog: Click the red and green + button and you should see this very blog appear before your eyes. You can subscribe to any blog this way - getting the feed address for the blog by clicking the RSS feed symbol wherever you see it, then copying and pasting it into Old Reader.  

Here are some blogs worth subscribing to - you can subscribe to some, all or none of them depending on where your interests lie:
You can find more blogs relevant to your professional (or personal) interests by typing keywords into Google Blog Search.

Later in the week, once everyone has had a chance to do the Activity in Thing 3, you can also subscribe to each others' blogs - here's the list of 23 Things participants, along with the URLs for their blogs (click on the link and you should have permissions to view the google spreadsheet). Go to each blog, and subscribe via Old Reader in the same way as above (assuming people have completed Thing 3).

Time to really start blogging... 

That's it for blogs and blogging, for now - next week we're moving onto other forms of social media. At this point it's time to start using the blogs we've created to write about and reflect on our experiences. Try writing a short blog post about RSS Feeds, perhaps mentioning which blogs you've subscribed to, which you'd recommend, whether you found it easy or difficult, etc.

Here's an example of a nice 23 Things blog from a librarian at Warwick - she won the 'Best Blog' award in their own programme. Scroll down to read some of her earlier posts.

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