An Introduction to Weblogs/Personal Newsfeeds

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Creating and maintaining a personal list of newsfeeds[edit]

For the purposes of this course you are required to create and maintain a personal list of newsfeeds. You can do this by using tools selected from those described in the previous sections, or any others you may have come across. You can track newsfeeds by using tools as selected above. You can choose newsfeeds involving your academic work, hobbies and pastimes, recreational and entertainment preferences or any other topics that you find interesting.

Let's look at how you can create and maintain a list of newsfeeds using Bloglines.

First you need to click the Sign Up Now link on the Bloglines home page to create an account. This will bring up the following page. Complete the required details and then click on Register.


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The Bloglines Registration Page
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The Bloglines Subscription Page

An email will be sent to the address you specified on the registration page. You must click on the link in this to activate your account. You’ll then be presented with a page which let's you choose the newsfeeds you want to subscribe to. The available links include a list of Quick Picks put together by the Bloglines staff as well as a lit of the 50 most popular subscriptions today.


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Subscribing to Your Selections


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Bloglines Newsfeeds


Choose the newsfeeds you want to subscribe to by clicking on the appropriate boxes. We’ll look later at how you can find feeds which aren’t on the Bloglines list.

For the moment, pick the top six items on today’s top 50 list and click on Subscribe to My Selections. When the next screen appears there will be a box at the left-hand side listing your feeds.

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The Slashdot Newsfeed

Click on one of these to see the content of the feed. Let’s choose Slashdot. The screen will now display the contents of the newsfeed. Only the first two items can be seen in the screenshot.


What do you do if you want to subscribe to a newsfeed that isn’t on the lists provided by Bloglines? Start by clicking the Search option on the Bloglines homepage. This will bring up a search box where you can specify what you want to search for.


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The Bloglines Search Box


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Results of a search on "firefly"


Imagine we want to search for newsfeeds relating to the cult TV series, Firefly. Simply type the word firefly in the search box and click on Search. This will bring up a whole list of newsfeeds related to Firefly.


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The FIREFLYFANS.NET newsfeed



Let’s take a look at FIREFLYFANS.NET. As you might expect, this brings up a list of postings related to Firefly.


Notice that you can subscribe to this feed by clicking on the link near the top right-hand side of the screen. Clicking any of the links will take you directly to the post concerned. Let’s pick Firefly model kit in the works.


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A single item expanded



A Cap Digital.svg ACTIVITY 3.5

Choose the news aggregator you prefer (either installed or hosted) and start building up your own list of newsfeeds. You should include at least five feeds.



You are also required to maintain a personal list of newsfeeds by adding new ones and deleting old ones which are no longer of interest. This process may be assisted by the use of newsfeed search engines like The Feed Directory (http://www.thefeeddirectory.com) or Feedster (http://www.feedster.com/). and should be carried out over an extended period.