Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Technology You Should Know: RSS Readers

If you are reading this, it's most likely because I sent the link to you, (because let's face it, I only have about 1 and a half readers.)

If you are reading this, and somehow enjoy this blog, you probably spend too much time alone. And also, you would probably enjoy reading several websites just like it.

If you are reading this, and you are human, I'm going to bet that you would like to be able to read all of your information in just minutes a day.

**This is a basic overview. If you want more detailed instructions, please see this awesome document.

RSS Reader: What is it?
An RSS reader (or aggregator) is a tool to view updates on web pages, news sites and weblogs.

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication"and gives content authors, like myself, a way to push out updates to you. It gives readers a single place to look at anything new from their favorite sources. For example, my Google Reader shows me new posts from about sites about T&D, eco news, cooking websites, and a couple of coupon search engines.

RSS Reader: How do I use it?
Step 1. Choose a reader, (there are many, but these instructions are for Google Reader.)

Step 2. Click Create an Account and fill in the appropriate information.

Step 3. Visit a website, like this one, and if it has an RSS feed, you will see an orange button like this next to the URL in the address bar:

Step 4. Click the orange button and, if prompted, choose "Subscribe to RSS." You will then need to choose to "Add to Google Reader."

Step 5: Click the "Feed Settings" button and choose "Sort By Oldest"

Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 for websites such as the blogs to the right of this post, as well as news sites: Google, Yahoo, or CNN.

RSS Reader: How does this relate to training?
Yes, I worship at the alter of the RSS Reader. Yes, I believe all WLP professionals should also utilize this technology.

People, I follow close to 100 websites in about 10 minutes a day. You folks with lives could probably follow 30 industry experts with about 30 minutes once a week.

Self-Development: This is the tool that lets you stroll by that smug ISD you know, and mention, "Oh, did you happen to catch Karl Kapp's notes on problem solving skills today? Hmmmmm?" Oh, and also, it's so easy to use this to keep up to date on the industry.

J.I.T. Learning: Imagine that once a week, a member of your executive leadership team posts a short blurb about strategy, and company news. And your marketing team creates a blog that sends out periodic updates on product literature. AND your professional development team sends out headlines with upcoming classes and online courseware.

Now imagine that your entire audience can go to ONE place to view all of these updates!!!

RSS Reader: What's the Bottom Line?
I hope that I have convinced you that as someone who relies on self-development, this is a tool you should spend a few minutes to learn. Try it out with this blog. I promise to post often so you get lots of practice!

Bad Training Closing #3
(or, how to keep your evaluation scores high)
"We are going to end today with an evaluation. Please hand them to me when you are done."

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