Bernie Goldbach in LIT-Clonmel | Image from Irisheyes | 344 words
I'M USING #mootieuk12 as a hashtag next week and if you're an educator, you might enjoy the flow of tweets. You can get those tweets in your newsreader if you like.
Over the past five years, Twitter has cloaked its RSS feeds, perhaps because a lot of Twitter's revenue model is tied to people seeing its front page. This means viewers find it difficult to track high-quality streams of information via their preferred methods. In my case, I like to use mobile newsreaders like Wonder Reader on my Nokia Lumia. The news-catching capability of that mobile reader is more responsive than waiting for a bog-standard mobile Twitter search result. Plus the information stays cached on my phone and that's handy when I'm in a dead zone.
I listen to hashtags of industry events and often jump onto the hashtags with my own ideas. Sometimes it looks as though I'm at the event. I've a standard listening post set up for #edchatie (the Monday evening Twitter chat for educators in Ireland) because it spawns interesting information throughout the week. And course hashtags also help keep things orderly for students who don't want the full-on firehose of Twitter sucking down their data credit.
This is exactly what I do. Whenever I use Twitter in a course, I follow the RSS feed of that hashtag with my desktop email client, which has a built-in RSS reader. I usePostBox, but this works just as easily in the open source Mozilla Thunderbird—or Google Reader for that matter. The tweets from my students come in and there they are, in my RSS inbox, permanently stored on my hard drive. Unlike a Twitter archiving service like TwapperKeeper, the RSS results include a link back to the original tweet. And, depending on your RSS reader, they’re incredibly searchable.
A big thanks to academic librarian Valerie Forrestal for sharing a simple way to produce RSS feeds for any Twitter search result ( i.e. hashtags or for exceptionally chatty but not witty Twitter superstars). Her cheat sheet offers this formula:
For the 2012 Moodle Moot in Ireland, the tag is:
Note that the “%23″ is the web's equivalent of the hashtag itself.
It's good to know Twitter cannot totally squelch newsfeeds powered by RSS.
Moodle Moot Mother Ship is http://moodlemoot.ie/
RSS remains the unheralded workhorse of the web