Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RSS Feeds and Aggregators - Google and Netvibes

Week 4 of Work Literacy is about RSS feeds and aggregators. I decided to post about it here instead of writing a long comment on the forums. (It also makes up for my blog for the week.)
I’ve been using Google Reader and have been quite content with it. I can see the feeds like in an e-mail inbox, which works fine for me. I use several folders to sort the feeds and am able to track what’s new for a particular subject quite easily.
One of the aggregators recommended on Work Literacy is Netvibes. So, I created a Netvibes page today and found that it is quite good. You can add all sorts of feeds to it. I imported my feeds from Google Reader and each folder was added as a new tab very smoothly. I was impressed. I also added other feeds like news, Delicious, and Twitter to my private page. I realized that if I add these and my other social networking feeds to my public page, I'll be able to create a pretty decent online profile. Cool! I tried to do that and here’s the public profile I’ve created.
Btw, Mashable has this great piece on How to Manage Your Social Profiles and Create Virtual Business Cards. I think Netvibes is another tool you can possibly use to manage and share your multiple social profiles.
The only problem I faced is that I have to look through the entire page to find out what’s new on which feed. For example, I have one tab for e-learning that probably has about 20 blogs. So, there are 20 little modules on that tab and I need to search to see which ones have been updated. I found that somewhat cumbersome. If I break them into smaller groups, I’ll end up having too many tabs to scroll through. Is there an easier way to read through the feeds? Google Reader has read and unread posts and the feeds are added like new e-mails, which makes it easy to identify what has been updated. I can easily mark favorites with a star, edit tags, e-mail and share posts, etc. But, I’m just starting off with Netvibes. I’m sure it has features I don’t know about.
But, then again, as I’ve said before, I am a Google fan, and I think iGoogle works pretty much the same was as Netvibes does. It allows you to add all sorts of widgets, which includes direct RSS feeds. You can create tabs and arrange your widgets accordingly. I have widgets for news, reader, and e-mail on my iGoogle page. So, I only need to check that one Web page to get all updates. After I saw that Netvibes allows you to add Twitter, Delicious, etc., I looked at the Google gadgets more closely and sure enough, they too have a host of related gadgets I can add to my iGoogle page.
So, basically, apart from the public and private page feature of Netvibes (which I must say is a good thing to have), I don’t see anything that is radically different. I guess I’m going to continue using Reader for RSS and iGoogle as my aggregator till I find information that Netvibes has other better features I haven’t stumbled upon yet.

P.S. I've only had time to play with one new tool this week. If I can I'll try a couple more and post my views here.


  1. I find iGoogle very useful also. I was just surprised last week, though, when they changed it. How do you add delicious to it?

  2. Yeah, I was surprised by the new look too. It does make life easier too. Now I can read and write e-mail and view all my feeds from within the same page. I don't need to go anywhere else.
    To add delicious, you can just click the add stuff link and search for delicious in the Search for Gadgets box. It returns a long list of related widgets you can choose from.

  3. Thanks also for sharing your knowledge by making this blog. It's really a great help for me.
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