Part of the UMW student participation credit in ds106 is commenting on the work of other students in the class (you are doing that, correct?). But with all of the blogs in this class, and more among the open participants of the main site, how to you know where to go? It would be insane to visit every blog on a regular basis.
Be smart- use the syndication tools that your blogs automatically create and an RSS viewer It provides an easy way to quickly see what is new across many sites without even visiting them. I made a screencast for how to do this and how to import batches of blog feeds:
Of course the starting point is having a free google account, each comes with a free suite of tools including Google Reader.
You can add blogs one at a time, say.. like this one? Copy the URL http://magicmacguffin.info, click the SUBSCRIBE button, and paste it in. Tis creates one link that shows all of the recent new content on the site. But that is a lot of stuff. You may just want to follow the blogs from your bunk group, or maybe fellow UMW students, or just our counselors.
There is a more efficient way, and it uses another file format structured for subscriptions, OPML, and have a new tool that can automatically generate these subscription files. You will find the links to these on each bunk group’s page (available from the menu above). Here are all the groups of feeds we provide- each will download a file to your desktop you can then import into Google Reader.
- Bunk 1 http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=bunk1
- Bunk 2 http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=bunk2
- Bunk 3 http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=bunk3
- Bunk 4 http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=bunk4
- Bunk 5 http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=bunk5
- All UMW students http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=umwsum12
- All Counselors http://ds106.us/magic-opml.php?tag=counselor
To import these in Google Reader, go to Settings (under the gear menu in the top right), and click on the Import tab. Choose the file you had downloaded, upload it, and SHAZAM! You have just subscribed to all blogs in that group.
By having them in one folder, you can either scan all at once, or click an individual blog url to read just one person’s updates. If you click on the title link from the main pane, you will go to that blog post, which you will need to do to add comments.
I prefer the compact view, where I see just the blog post titles, and ones on bold are ones I have not seen. To toggle this mode, click the right button (stacked lines) in your reader main view toolbar.
This is how I keep up on all your work, and this is what you should use as a basis to choose where to spend your comment energy.
For a basic overview of what makes this work, see the Common Craft video, Google Reader in Plain English
Google Reader helps you with the Camp Magic Macguffin ABCs- Always Be Commenting