RSS with NetVibes in one side of A4

Reading blogs and rss feeds with Netvibes

Engaging effectively and honestly with the social web involves listening a lot more than you speak; reading a lot more than you write.

One of the first tools I introduce to clients interested in exploring social media is some form of RSS reader. An RSS reader is a tool to agregate conversations and information from across the social web into one place – making it easier to listen as a foundation for engaging.

Recently, my reader of choice (for those starting out) has been NetVibes. So, here is the next in my series of one page guides – this time looking at NetVibes.

You can download the guide as a PDF here.

The guide is Creative Commons licenced, so you are welcome to use it in your own work, and to adapt it (Word copy attached below) to contextualise it for different audiences or groups.

For example: In the original copy of this guide I wrote for a client I created a customised NetVibes tab with a range of tools they might find useful and provided a TinyURL link to this as the first step of getting started, instead of pointing people straight to the front page of NetVibes. That way, users could immediately see how NetVibes was relevant to them, instead of first encountering the standard NetVibes modules and tools which are set up for a very different audience.

I'd love to hear about any use you make of this guide.


Attachment: 4 – NetVibes General Purpose Briefing.pdf
Attachment: 4 – NetVibes General.doc

4 thoughts on “RSS with NetVibes in one side of A4

  1. Sue Waters

    Excellent guide Tim. I also try and educate people on RSS but I find it really hard for them to get it initially. Have you got any tips that makes them relate to it better? And actually ensure they start using it?

  2. Tim Post author

    Hey sue. It certainly can be tricky. I’ve found with quite a lot of people it realistically takes a 1/2 hour one-to-one session finding relevant feeds for them and getting a personal homepage set-up before they start understanding what is going on.

    I’ve been trying to design a paper based exercise to explore how RSS works (sort of like an interactive group work version of the common craft videos) as I found doing a paper based exercise with tagging (using luggage labels and a selection of documents grabbed of shelves around the organisations) worked really well in getting people to grasp tagging. I’ve not however, yet, found a way of making that paper based exercise straightforward enough (perhaps RSS just is rather tricky to conceptualise unless you understand some of the technology behind it?).

  3. Sue Waters

    Hi Tim — the trouble is I help them set up their feeds and get them happening. But I am sure with most they never use it again cause they still have not got it.

    Well there is the paper blogging activity that Michele Martin mentions on her blog that she did at the conference. My friend Leonard Low originally talked about how you use it. So I suppose you could expand on that. Get them to add comments and then add them to a paper feed reader?

    I really think we should be teaching RSS feed readers first and getting them comfortable with this first.

  4. Michele Martin

    Hi Tim–Once again, a great piece! Thank you!

    One thought on explaining RSS. Christine Martell and I did a paper blogging activity to demonstrate blogs. We gave people large pieces of post-it flip chart paper and had them write a post. Then we have them smaller post-its and had them visit each person’s “blog” to post their comments. At the end, we demonstrated RSS by pulling each of the flip chart pages off the wall and bringing them to one person. That seemed to help people get it.

    Again, thanks for the great handout! And Sue–why didn’t you give Tim a hard time about using Netvibes instead of Google Reader?! :-)

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