How to manage the overwhelming amount of reading that being a Connected Educator and Researcher brings? Our latest 23 Things for Research challenge is to consider how we already manage our academic reading, and to try out RSS feeds and Feed Readers.

Firstly I notice that I already use RSS feeds – obviously I wasn’t very clued up on what they were about! I use Live Bookmarks in my Firefox browser, and the feeds sit there until I go look at them. I think I used to get a “daily digest” but I turned it off because it annoyed me. The ones I have there don’t change much, so that’s probably why I don’t look often.

With my blog on WordPress, when I go to “Blogs I Follow” it sends me to WordPress Reader – so I suppose that is a FeedReader like the others that were recommended. It is probably the one I will be using, at least to start.

I quite like subscribing to some feeds, such as Journal content pages, which send me an email. I can see, however, that as I get more Connected, this could be too much – and certainly they are an invitation to procrastination, coming at any time of the day. Besides, is not the point of this social media to not have to download and save stuff, as I do currently? Isn’t it supposed to be stored in some fluffy cloud, accessible when I want to read it? I find that when I first delve into new technology, I apply my old thinking to its usage. Over time, though, more appropriate ways of using the technology emerge.

The one email I will continue to keep is the Education News service from NZCER at http://nzcer-nznews.blogspot.co.nz/ (which I have only just realised is actually a blog!). In my role as NCWNZ Education Convenor I am supposed to keep up with Education happenings – which can be a lot of work. NZ News bundles up the news items from around the country, and sends me a digest every day. Very useful. And of course, for some reason I save the email every day. Old habits die hard .

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