FriendFeed – the new RSS aggregator?

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t learn something new. Not unlike Nicole Engard’s blog “What I Learned Today“, I could keep a list of neat, interesting, exciting, frustrating, a-ha moments. Yesterday was no exception to the rule.

I took part in the maiden voyage of T is for Training a podcast show hosted by Maurice Coleman (aka (almost) baldgeekinmd. The first topic of discussion was information overload. How, as trainers, do we deal with all the RSS feeds and information coming to us on a daily basis? I believe, forgive me if I credit the wrong person, Stephanie Zimmerman that mentioned she does what I do — let my friends aggregate for me via FriendFeed. She talked about StumbleRead which I had not heard of before but immediately started using. StumbleRead allows you to pop out a small frame that feeds you all the activity going on your FriendFeed.  So you can have FriendFeed going without taking up one of your tabs in your browser.  It allows you to see feeds/posts from your Friends or Everyone and you can share from within the application (powered by Google App Engine).  Ooh, just love hearing about a new product, software app, or web site I can play around with.

I’m not trying to be lazy. It’s just that I can subscribe to over 300 feeds (like some on the show) but I’d never get through them all. Or I can pay attention to what the library community is talking about on social networking sites like FriendFeed. Because FriendFeed not only allows you to post directly into it but also import information from 43 different sites (plus the ability to import RSS feeds from any site) – I can keep up to date on all kinds of information due to the diversity of my “friends”. If they don’t have an area of interest that I do than that is a feed I can subscribe to and hopefully post about so they can learn from me as well.

For me, FriendFeed keeps me up on politics (the discussions about Obama, McCain and Palin have been interesting), fashion (found several other Project Runway fans there), library news (everything from LibraryJournal to WebJunction to individual library’s feeds), and many other topics.  So who really needs an aggregator when you have your friends?

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When Words Escape Me

My boss, Amy De Groff, suggested to me that I should submit a proposal to Computers in Libraries 2009.  She knows how much I’ve enjoyed attending this conference over the years.  She felt that the classes I’m offering this fall at Howard County Library for our customers on Web 2.0 would be something that perhaps CIL might be interested in.

I’ve been staff training at the Howard County Library for some time now.  My classes are always well attended (even when they aren’t mandatory trainings) and I’ve gotten good feedback such as “I speak in plain English not techie”.  So I thought I could move onto our customers and help them learn about the read/write web and maybe able to converse better with the techies in their lives (or at the very least go home and have the courage to play a bit more with the web).

I took my boss’s advice and tried to find someone to co-present with.  Good idea if you are new to presenting at CIL to have a more experienced co-presenter help you over the bumps and take you through the hoops.  I tapped my friend (almost)Baldgeekinmd to see if he’d be interested but alas he was unable to.  However, he had a fantastic idea and one that is very Web 2.x — throw the idea out to the community!

So off to FriendFeed I went.  Within a few minutes I had a Facebook email from Joshua Neff and several comments on my FriendFeed post from Michael Sauers.   Michael and I emailed back and forth a bit and he agreed to present with me (if we get selected mind  you).

Now the fun begins, writing the proposal.  Luckily the form only requires a paragraph for the session description but what is causing me to have writer’s block is the title.  I know from personal experience that catchy, descriptive titles also catch my eye when I’ll flipping through the CIL program guide.  So for once I am at a lost for words.

I’ve used Doodle to create a poll.  So, please feel free to vote there or comment here.