Blogging, RSS Feeds and Podcasting for Libraries

presented by Sean FitzGerald

The audio recording of the presentation at Ultimo is now available. Unfortunately my recorder only had enough memory to record one hour, which covered the first two topics - blogging and RSS feeds. It cut out exactly at the point where I started the last (and my favourite) topic - podcasting! :-(

What is a Blog (or Weblog)?

  • A frequently updated website with posts that are date-stamped, displayed in reverse chronological order, and automatically archived.
  • Easily updated using any web browser connected to the Internet. No HTML required.
  • Like an online journal or newsletter, consisting of personal thoughts & commentary as well as links to articles and websites.
  • Most blogs allow readers to leave comments on posts.
  • Blogs can be authored by an individual or by multiple authors.

Examples of Blogs

Finding Blogs

Setting up a Blog

Easily set up your own blog in minutes at Blogger.

Library Blogs

Blogs about Libraries & Librarianship (and usually Technology)

Libraries with Blogs

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary.

RSS is a method for distributing and syndicating content from websites, news sources and blogs.

RSS feeds (aka web feeds) are written in XML - eXtensible Markup Language. (HTML is the language that web pages are written in.)

An RSS feed is a file that has a title, description, and link to each item.

Atom and RDF are alternative syndication protocols.

Syndication - displaying RSS feeds on your own website. Many news sources allow syndication for non-commercial use.

More about RSS - All About RSS || Fagan Finder

What is a News Reader (aka RSS Aggregator or Feed Reader)?

A news reader is a tool for aggregating RSS feeds from multiple sources and displaying them in one place.

More info: News aggregator - Wikipedia

Types of RSS Feeds

Finding RSS Feeds

How are Libraries using RSS feeds?

More on How Libraries are Using (and Should be using) RSS Feeds

tonneten library :: syndication - presents ideas for using RSS (& Atom etc.) and reader services in libraries.

What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is a way of publishing audio files to the Internet which allows listeners to subscribe to an RSS feed and receive new audio files automatically. The files are downloaded using "podcatching" software which can save them onto the listener's computer or transfer them to the listener's portable music player - such as an iPod.

Podcasting allows you to listen to audio content at a time and place of your choosing (commuting, jogging, gym, cleaning, beach). Puts the listener in control. Radio-on-demand. Time-shifted radio.

Podcatching software - iPodder (cross platform), DopplerRadio (Windows only), Primetime Podcast Receiver or iPodderX (Mac).

Types of Podcasts

  • Home-grown radio shows - news & current affairs, talk shows, music, passions, reviews (e.g. Reel Reviews Radio)
  • Distribution of creative works - bands, musicians, comedians, novels etc.
  • Storytelling, radio plays & audio books
  • Sermons, speeches, debates or conference sessions
  • “Sound-seeing” or “sound-scene” tours

Educational Uses of Podcasts

  • Recording lectures
  • Instructional training materials for the workplace
  • Interviews with experts or industry figures
  • Languages - foreign languages, ESOL/ESL
  • Music education
  • Learner-created radio programs (e.g. M&M Online Magazine)

Podcasting Directories

Articles about Podcasting

Podcasting in Libraries

How to Create a Podcast

  1. Record audio as an MP3 file using a computer with sound recording software (Audacity or WavePad) or recording MP3 player.
  2. Upload MP3 file to blog.
  3. Create RSS feed for podcast (e.g. using FeedBurner).


This presentation used ideas from the following presentations:

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