The wild world of blogging may be a hot topic for techno-pundits and media mavens from here to Palo Alto, but the online musings of the blogosphere have barely made a dent in the consciousness of many teachers. A staggering 58 percent of respondents said they don't read blogs, either because they don't have the time or don't know what one is in the first place. But for those who do, Will Richardson's thoughtful Weblogg-ed and David Warlick's entertaining site (www.davidwarlick.com/2cents) are must-reads. Strangely, though blogs are still foreign soil to many surveyed, other respondents consider them one of the best ways to stay in the know.
The RSS Feed
For those -- and there seem to be many -- who fear or loathe the blog, and for those who like them but barely have time to read them, we would like to introduce the RSS feed. Sounds fancy, but the acronym stands for "Really Simple Syndication." Key word? "Simple." It's a technology for Web site publishers to let people know when new content is available, which means you don't have to browse, because the newest information on your favorite blogs will come to you. How? Web sites generally combine a title, an annotation, and a URL for each new article, which is then published as a feed. Feeds allow readers to quickly skim over new material.
The real benefit of RSS is that users can use special browsers to aggregate many feeds in one place, which is very helpful when you're trying to keep track of many online sources of information.