This blog is proudly “member” of 23 things for the Digital Professional, a course for PhD students who want to improve their online presence and impact. It is organised by the Wolfson Research Exchange, where I spend most of my life in these days. You can see in the 23 things blog that we just arrived to thing n. 11 (of 23 things). I tried most of them (well, some of them take lots of time, but I promise I will try them). Some ideas are really really useful: for instance, things 4 (of 23 things), explains how to set up rss feeds from scientific journals. Now, wordpress.com has a plugin that allows you to publish those feeds in the sidebar of your blog. I did it with two eighteenth century journals. I must confess I am really missing the “real” wordpress, as it offers much more opportunities with rss feeds (and everything else).
Now the pars destruens: Rss feeds are really useful to get informations and data from providers that publish regularly and/or frequently. The problem with academic journals is… well, that at their best they publish three issues per year. So you have an RSS feed on your homepage that… does not publish anything for months.
What is the solution? You can use a rss mixer. [nerdish comment: When I started using something similar, back in 2005 (GASP), it was one of the newest stuff you could have. I was building up a website based on Mambo (it was really really fresh stuff that too) and worked perfectly. Now, after seven years, most of them are offline. However, I still think are good ideas]
So, a rss feeds merger does exactly this: you decide the feeds from multiple sources you want to read and publish, give the site a list, and the site will give you a new rss feed that MERGES all of them. Check on Feedkiller, Feedfeeds or blogsieve. Now I want to go home, so I will set up my rss readers on calebwilliams later this week.
Ah, the purpose of this post. The 23 things is not only a course online where we can learn something else, we are also required to talk about the 23 things. I have some psychological problems doing this, because talking about IT and similar stimulates my pars nerduens. But anyway, I think it could be useful also for the others.
Nerdish postscriptum. As metadiscussion seems really important, I made the links to the 23 things blog a bit redundant. Google crawlers wouldn’t care, but probably Ping or Yahoo ones will.