The idea

#FeedReaderFriday: A Suggestion for Changing our Social Media Patterns | Chris Aldrich

Feed Readers

Just after I discover RSS in the “flowering” of theScotEduBlogs community I got interested in aggregating RSS and creating specialised readers. Back in around 2006 I was blogging some ideas which lead to Robert Jones & Pete Liddle creating the first iteration of the ScotEduBlogs aggregation. Later I moved the site to WordPress using the FeedWordPress plug-in. I’d seen this in use on the marvellous DS106 site which aggregates blogs of students and open participants of the many iterations of the notorious Digital Storytelling course. The flow on DS106 has pulled in 91749 (at time of writing) posts since 2010.

ScotEduBlogs is at a bit of a low at the moment, there are not so many folk blogging about education in Scotland. I still love the idea of ‘specialist’ or community aggregations or feed readers. Of course the site has an RSS feed that can be subscribed to. Dave Winer’s FeedLand, which I noted in a previous #FeedReaderFriday, can also create ‘News Products’ with similar results.

Folk to Follow

I like to follow some human aggregators, even better if they add their own opinions. One of my favourites in Arron Davis his Read Write Collect blog is an IndieWeb style collector of replies, bookmarks and other responses. RSS.

Some of Tom Woodward’s Bionic Teaching – utan blixt consists of his harvest of links with brief comment. This might be auto posted, perhaps from pinboard? He also posts about higher ed use of technology and, of particular interest to me, his work with WordPress. RSS

This post is part of a series with a wee bit about readers and a couple of suggestions of feeds to follow.

In regards to sharing openly, Doug Belshaw recommend s creating a canonical URL. The intent is to provide a starting point for people to engage with and build upon your work and ideas. This could be one space in which to share everything or you could have a separate link for each project. What matters is that it is public.


Arron Davis on the importance of sharing and linking.

As well as being a great link this is a test post, pulling in content from my pinboard links with FeedWordPress and saving them as a pending post, with the custom format of pinboard. The posts are marked as pending, allowing me to mark up the quote and add some text. 

The title of the post should link to Arron’s blog rather than mine. I hope there is a nice wee pinboard icon on the left.

I’ve written here about FeedWordPress quite a few times and if you have spoken to me about technology for learning I’ve probably mentioned it to you too. FeedWordPress is a WordPress plugin that lets you aggregate, on the one blog, many blogs (or other sources that provide RSS).

FeedWordPress is used extensively on DS106 (Which I probably talk about far to much for my co-workers comfort) and we now use it on ScotEduBlogs to aggregate over 100 Scottish educational blogs.

I’ve posted about how I think this would be a great tool for learning in schools, allowing pupils to work in there own spaces but pull project related content from multiple sources together.

I’ve just found a wonderful example of this in use (somewhat more interesting than ScotEdublogs and easier to grasp than ds106)

This site allows 20 students to record botanical findings, they do so by posting to their own blogs. The results are aggregated on to Field Botany | Plants of the James River Park System, There are already 700 posts.

Belle Isle

The students can post photos and informatino straight to their blogs with mobile phones while in the field.

Tom Woodward on who’s blog I discovered this site explains the details:

This early days for the site but in the end the intrepid biology duo of Jill Reid and Dianne Jennings will worked with their students to create a site that local residents can use to identify plants in our James River Park System.

Tom goes onto explain how he set the site up and the plugins used.

Glow Blogs

One of the problems with suggesting FeedWordPress for learning is that it requires a fair bit of work to get going, you cannot use it on, edublogs or other sites that host blogs for you, you need to set up your own hosting and add and configure the plugin. As we work our way through requirements and procurement of the new blogging solution for glow the possibility of being able to offer this sort of factuality is very exciting…