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Monday, March 21, 2005 



The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation: “It's easy to see how a student... in the 1940's could imbibe such notions. The Zeitgeist encouraged Philosopher-Kings” (James Atlas).

[German : Zeit, time (from Middle High German zt, from Old High German. See d- in Indo-European Roots) + Geist, spirit; see poltergeist.]

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

I get to learn about lots of cool stuff at work. Blogging is all the rage among educational technologists and academics in the States. Lots of collaborative / social networking tools are also being touted as the next big thing in edtech and on the Internet in general. There are too many to name, so I'll just cover a few of the important ones - at least, those that are important to me.

I've almost stopped visiting blogs. I still read them but updates come to me, instead of me going to each of my friends' blogs. How?

Really Simple Syndication (or RDF Site Summary for geeks) a.k.a. RSS.

You might have noticed little 'chicklets' of tiny logos labelled XML or RSS. These are RSS Feeds. Blogger and LiveJournal users, you automatically have an RSS feed by default.

Blogger feeds are in this format: http://myblog.blogspot.com/

LiveJournal feeds are in this format: http://www.livejournal.com/user/myblog/

So if your friend has Blogger/LiveJournal blogs, you can subscribe to the feeds. Just replace 'myblog' with your friends' username. Better yet, the more clued in people will have an XML/RSS chicklet on their site with the feed URL, as I described earlier.

Now, what do you do with this URL? Take mine, for example: http://acroamatical.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Not a lot of good on its own, right? You now have to download and install a feed reader or aggregator. I use Thunderbird, which is actually an email client i.e. alternative to Outlook/Outlook Express. It's free! There are other free RSS readers, please Google.

After you have installed the feed reader, you can enter the RSS/XML feed. The feed reader should then update itself with the latest entries from the blog that you just 'subscribed' to.

Now do this for all the blogs you visit - EasyJournal and Xanga users, please switch... or beg your blog service provider to provide RSS functionality (if they already have it, i am not aware of it) - and you won't need to visit a blog ever again.

Every time you start the Feed Reader, it sees if the sites you have subscribed to have any new posts/content. If they do, they'll come into the 'inbox' as separate messages, almost like email.

This is a superb time-saving tool. If you're confused, I am more than willing to clarify any doubts.

Almost midnite, time to sleep. More to come soon...

Social Bookmarking

Flickr (see my Daily Zeitgeist)

xanga has RSS. I just forgot what the addy is. and I'm a luddite with no bandwidth

well, do let me know if you find out. rss text feeds don't take up as much bandwidth as continually checking sites with graphics.

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Previous Cave Drawings

  • lobang. pecah.
  • kiwi
  • mini
  • no "gahmen"
  • bald
  • snippets
  • 43 things
  • life and death
  • munich
  • luscious
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