Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Go web. Fly. Up, up, and away web! Shazam!"

I have been learning about the RSS feeds this week and it was a little hard for me to figure out. I finally realized that my difficulty was nested in the fact I don’t seem to use the web the same way other people use it. I don’t know why that hadn’t occurred to me before. Perhaps because this is the first time I’ve ever really been able to examine and compare my surfing habits with others in a controlled setting. Suddenly, I’m not sure what the internet really is.

I had an Ah HA moment superimposed on a state of extreme disorientation….don’t stare!

I use the web like Spidey. I rarely read news or articles on the web. I don’t watch American news on television and I don’t have cable or NetFlix. If it didn’t pop up on the MSN homepage as newsworthy as I headed into my hotmail account, I didn’t hear about it. Now if something surfaces of great interest to me, I will shift gears…. (Usually I will ask Randi about it when I get to work….) No, really… I will Google the item for additional information and check Wikipedia (if that is pertinent) because news is compiled so efficiently and in a manner in which I find easy to follow.

This made me wonder, how did this happen that I am so different from everyone else? I think it is because I came into an interest in what the internet could DO by virtue of accidentally finding a chat community. My web-jones is the spawn of socializing on-line. Just about all of my skills (or lack of them) sprouted from interaction within that chat room, in one way or another. When the SYSOP would add something new to the site or a chatter would get excited about an innovation, they explained it to us and we all went and investigated it, if it interested us. Is it any wonder why I have enjoyed this summers Learning 2.0 project so much!! This is SO my sandbox!

Prior to that experience I used the web much like I would use the Encyclopedia as a child: Start out looking up one thing and find a bunch of other stuff that was thrilling, then Mom calls me for dinner….oh, and I used the web for shopping, of course. I like to shop on-line.

So when it came time to line up things to put on a RSS feed there was not much for me to put on there, really. Who needs Bloglines when you have Spidey-Sense? I did find it efficient for putting everyone’s Learning 2.0 blogs in a handy spot so I can see who is currently posting. Otherwise, until my research habits evolve, I’m going to just continue using my favorites.

Perhaps when I learn a little more about the tools a newsreader can provide, I will press myself into more sophisticated internet habits. I look forward to that.

1 comment:

l33t_m0nk3y said...

You make a valid point about RSS feeds, and the way you use the Internet. Likely it is the way you discovered things that has let you to use the Internet the way you do. I would say that, like you, I do not use the Web and the Internet for news, and the few places I frequent don't lend themselves to RSS feeds.

However, I would point out that the entire purpose behind this effort is to try NEW things. To stir you out of your 'normal' way. With any learning effort you will of course figure out what things do and do not work for you, but you without at least trying something, how will you ever know what works. Try using an RSS feed/news aggregator, you may discover a new tool for your toolkit.