November 12, 2007
My Favorite RSS Feeds
I have subscribed to dozens of RSS feeds since creating my Bloglines account. Some of those have worked out well while others have crashed and burned. Of the successful ones, two seem to stand out the most:
Red Wings Snapshots on Mlive.com
I found this feed doing a simple search for "Red Wings" on Bloglines. Basically, this RSS feed provides links to any article or new commentary that is added to the popular sports discussion page on MLive.com. What I had thought was mostly used for keeping up with prep sports as a kid, Mlive has provided the most up to date, interesting, and comprehensive news on the Red Wings that I have ever found. From interviews with players at practice, to notes about their minor-league affiliates, this RSS feed gives an in depth look at the team that just can't be found in national sports stories or even in local newspapers.
Church of the Customer Blog
While this RSS feed doesn't (always) pertain to my business and personal topics, it is always an interesting read (and it comes in handy for my marketing class). I found this blog while surfing through Bloglines about some of the PR problems that GM has had. The blog happened to mention GM and I subscribed to it just by chance. Though it hasn't provided much help for my BIT class, I'm still glad I found it. With a fair amount of humor and some rather good writing, I think I will keep up on this blog for a long time.
November 04, 2007
Using e-mail alerts for the last few weeks has made it clear what these tools work for and what they don't. Here are some of the things I've learned.
1.) RSS > E-mail alerts for news
Maybe this is a bit obvious, but I've learned that e-mail updates aren't (for me) the best way to receive my news. Having the news delivered to you is always good, but I realized after the first week of receiving dozens of news updates via e-mail that this would not be the best system for me. For example, I set up a Google Alert query for both GM and Red Wings news. By the next day, I had twenty plus e-mails,most of which I just forwarded to a folder in my inbox. Long story short, using an RSS feed aggregator like Bloglines is a better way to receive news because it keeps updates seperate from email and is a better way to organize things you've viewed and haven't viewed. Though I may seem to be bashing e-mail alerts, learning this lesson helped me realize how e-mail alerts could be used effectively.
2.) E-mail updates are great for pages that aren't updated daily
Having a page monitor send you an e-mail when a page has been changed or added too is a great way to keep up to date and to save time in getting information. I set up a page monitor like this for GM and Red Wings press releases. These don't seem to change as much, and an e-mail alert helps me to receive the information without having to check the site everyday. I have since found these very useful for monitoring sites that have job listings as well as some specific sites with products that I am interested in (when is the price of a PS3 going to go down??)
From the beginning, it became pretty clear to me how e-mail alerts would be best utilized. With the way I organize my e-mail, it's just not practical for me to receive everyday news through e-mail. For that, I'll stick to RSS. But for those specific items that you want to monitor, but don't want to sit at the computer all day clicking re-load, e-mail alerts (and page monitors) work well for me.