sean (digitalsean) wrote,

keeping up with my own sites - rss readers

The sites that I am working with are not providing any news feeds at the moment. Oops. This is a problem which I have meant to look at for a while, and after my news feed post this morning I really should do something about this. Without useful feeds, his actually means that I am not keeping efficient track of all of the news and course activities that we are maintaining at work.

I would really like to fix this as soon as possible, especially the public facing news page. We cannot expect people to visit the news page regularly just on the off-chance that something new has happened. I think it is essential to allow people visiting a site to subscribe to information in a flexible way. Tony Hirst from the Open University has some useful thoughts on over at OUseful Info on how education institutions can create opportunities for users to access material in interesting ways using RSS. (including a longer piece entitled 'we ignore RSS at our peril')

For the main site, the next step is to set up a quick screen scraper to grab the current news page, and then to look at how to make this more manageable for the main site.

For the VLE, I need to figure out how to get mooodle to give out private feeds of course activity, forum posts and calendar events in a useful way. It does not do this well at all at the moment. There is a technical and social issue to consider whether to and how to provide semi-private feeds for closed courses, and forums. I note with interest that there is a student project for moodle looking at this in the google summer of code which should be completed in the next few days. I look forward to seeing how far the project has gone.
Tags: rss

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