Why Social RSS Could Be Huge

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Ian Rosenwach has a brief post RSS’s potential in which he points out how building a few social features around RSS technology could propel it into a huge micro-content social network.

I don’t know if the  RSS brand will ever get much larger than it is in among the tech community, but I do think as a feature it will be one of the largest components of communications and social relations. Twitter is catchy. RSS isn’t.

Twitter is really simple syndication – way simpler than RSS. A tweet is both the feed’s title and subject. It’s two-way headline news.

If developers can derive inspiration from the social features of the two-way Web and fold the ingredients into RSS, RSS may at last achieve the public awareness it deserves – regardless of whatever its called. Maybe Twitter is what most people will call it.

Twitter enables us to dip into global brain pool (both bright and dim). If we could get deeper into the pool in a quick, consolidated and easy way with the rest of the dynamic Web then we could see a whole new kind of web evolve: a  vast active living intelligence system.

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Using Google Reader As A Twitter Search Engine

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Search.Twitter has a long way to go. It doesn’t store data long-term and it isn’t very stable. Google Reader, which relies on that relic of the Web, RSS, provides an alternative to store and search the data flowing into Twitter. Although it may be in vogue to write-off RSS and Readers, I don’t think they are going away anytime soon- in fact, Twitter itself is a sort of RSS: a reverse chronological listing of headlines.

Anyhoo, if you’re interested in conveniently focusing on a select group of Twitter accounts, search terms or hashtags, there’s an app for that: Google Reader. I use hashtags as an example in the presentation below, but any Twitter feed works, including  Twitter Favorites. I’ll share that process and my ideas about the value of Favorites in a future post. Here’s a short vid on how to set it up:

You can also use FriendFeed to store and search through tweets, Google Reader may be more manageable.

Is this helpful? Or are you satisfied with Search.Twitter?

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How to Use RSS for LinkedIn Answers

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I’m not much of a LinkedIn user, but I dip into the network every once in a while. There’s definitely a big pool of talent to connect with on LinkedIn, but the interface seems a bit claustrophobic for my tastes. Still, I think the Answers feature is a valuable way to help others out and network with others whom you might otherwise never discover.

The easiest way to use Answers is to subscribe via RSS to a few categories of interest. That way you don’t have deal with LinkedIn’s interface, can quickly skim through the most recent questions and decide which ones to answer. If you haven’t used Answers before – or have but found it useless – give this approach a try:

Let me know what you think. Do you find Answers useful? Let me know in the comments or  connect with me on LinkedIn.

[Apologies if the embed is awkward. Here’s the direct link to the screencast.]

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