This week's experience was about RSS news feeds and readers. I didn't know what an RSS was, but once I learned about them, I started to notice the logo everywhere. I set up an account with Bloglines. At first I was confused because I thought that if I subscribed to several feeds, somehow that would show up on my email account or something. Finally, I realized I would still have to visit the Bloglines site, but all my subscriptions would be gathered in that one spot. I see from looking at Google reader that if you use Google a lot, it is easy to get to their reader from their main site.
I found there is quite a variety of information available in this format. Again, as with other parts of technology, the biggest challenge is figuring out how much is useful and at what point things just become overwhelming. You could decide to limit your subscriptions to just things pertaining to work, or personal interests, or a particular subject. I do find that reading blogs is not very interesting to me. I guess I would rather just have a conversation with someone. I miss the back and forth exchange of ideas when I am reading it in isolation and responding in a vacuum. So while you can get some ideas from library blobs, I don't think I would genereally subscribe to them (at least I haven't found one I would add yet). Still, it is good to keep looking at things and to know the tools to use when you find something you want to keep track of.
I don't think I was too surprised at the variety of subjects available. Like all of technology, at first you discover the service, then it doesn't take too long to be surprised when someone doesn't use the service. I thought organizations like sports teams might do some of this but I think they must still primarily use email to communicate with their fans. One other thing to consider when choosing subscriptions, too, is to consider the reliability of the source. For example, I subscribed to one of the catagories in the Reader's Club, but then realized that I need to check out who is writing the reviews before using their advice to buy library books. I didn't find any standout unusual sites to write about this time.