Search this site

Get in touch

Contact Terry Freedman

Thought for the day

Each day a randomly-selected "law", observation or suggestion will appear here.

Last 100 articles
Free subscriptions

Free guide to using interactive whiteboards

IWB Guide Cover26+ suggestions and tips. Free to subscribers of Digital Education (please see the link below)

 Subscribe to our free newsletter, Digital Education!

 It's free. Signing up entitles you to various freebies. We use a double opt-in system, and we won't spam you.

Click the image above for a free sample edition.

Sign-up page.

The DfE Assessment Innovations series collated. This booklet is free to subscribers of Digital Education.

Be notified by email if you prefer:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Amazing Computer Education Project Book

Remember this?

Amazing Web 2.0 Projects

It’s been downloaded over 35,000 times. I’m hoping to create a similar Computer Education Projects book, which will also be free. Find out how you can help by reading this article:

The Amazing Computer Education Projects Book

Digital Education

News, views and reviews. In-depth articles. Guest contributors. Competitions. Discount codes.

(Not necessarily all in the same issue, but each issue is full of good stuff nonetheless!)

Sign up for our free newsletter now!

Oh No!!If you can't find what you're looking for...

Assuming you’ve tried variations of your search term and checked the spelling without any luck, you may find the article Finding stuff on the ICT in Education website helpful.

Alternatively, if it’s not an article you’re looking for, try looking through the menus at the top of the screen.

E-Books for Sale

Want to make your ICT lessons more interesting?

Then Go on, bore ‘em: How to make your ICT lessons excruciatingly dull is just right for you.

Clustr Map
Terry Freedman's Social Profile
Powered by Squarespace

« My Nominations for the 2009 Edublog Awards | Main | The Loneliness of the Far-Sighted Innovator? »

Why Subscribe to Blogs? 8 Things to Consider

So many blogs, so little time. What with all the 101 other things you have to do in your life, you can't afford to waste time on blogs that won't benefit you in any way. Or, to be more accurate, in which the benefits are exceeded by the cost, ie the time spent.

So what kind of things might you take into account when deciding whether or not to subscribe to a blog's RSS feed? Here is what I look for.

  1. I will usually have discovered a blog through a reference to one particular article. The obvious thing to check out, then, is whether all or most of the articles on the blog look interesting, or whether the one I came across was the exception to the rule.
  2. Are the articles engaging? Ideally, I prefer to read stuff that is well-written. Not just well-written from a technical point of view, but in a way that's engaging, that reels me in. I want to have to drag myself away because I have other things to do, not force myself to read it because I think it might be good for me.
  3. OK, not everyone can be a great writer, so is it informative at least? Am I going to learn stuff that I may not otherwise come across, or not packaged in as succinct a manner?
  4. Is it newsworthy? I find it hard to keep up with news, despite, or possibly because of, the dozens of sources I rely on. If there's a blog that consistently mentions the latest news, be it technical or educational or otherwise, I'm interested.
  5. Is it humorous? Even if it's none of the things mentioned so far, if it makes me smile or laugh that is a big plus.
  6. Is it provocative? A blog should make you think, or react.
  7. Once it's made it through the hurdles presented so far, a blog has to show that its owner is serious about it. The issue here is: has it been updated regularly? If it's been more than a month since the last post, that is a real turn-off for me.
    Yes, I know that people are busy, but I think it's a matter of priorities. I have blogs that I haven't updated in months. But this one, ICT in Education, gets updated on average at least once a day during the week, and sometimes more, and sometimes at the weekends and on holidays too. And let me tell you: I am busy!
    That does raise another issue, of course: is a blog updated too frequently? That doesn't bother me in the slightest. I figure that someone can update their blog every 15 minutes if they want to, but I don't have to read it all. But I mention it here because I have recently had one person unsubscribe from my RSS feed because he thought that I update my blog too often.
  8. Finally, is it easy to subscribe? I have a Google toolbar which enables me to subscribe to a blog by clicking on a button labelled 'Subscribe'. If I get a message saying 'Feed not found', I become slightly miffed, because it is pretty easy to avoid that,m and people with slick-looking websites ought to know that. All you have to do is insert the following code within the HEAD part of your Index page:

    "<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"
    title="RSS Feed for"
    href="" »",

    substituting your RSS feed and title for mine, or course.

If clicking on Subscribe doesn't work, I'll click on an RSS feed icon or similar. If have to hunt around for that, I'll probably give up, especially if the decision to subscribe was touch and go anyway.

Total time for this whole process? I would say no more than 5 minutes, and most of that will be taken up with #1.

I'd be interested in hearing about what makes you decide to subscribe to an RSS feed or not, so please either comment below or complete the survey on the subject; it will take you just two or three minutes, and I'll publish the results soon.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (4)

I actually have a folder in Google Reader for potentially interesting websites. I move a new website there after subscribing first to see that it doesn't post too much (e.g. Mashable for tech news, 30+ per day) or is just boring (only one good post that brought me to the site). Means I only end up with the interesting/useful/relevant sites in the long run....
I also never subscribe to comments so hope this website has auto notification by email enabled for my comments :)

December 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNeal

That's a good idea, Neal. Nice way of using folders.

It is extremely interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNothingToLose

Thx for your feedback; glad u find it interesting!

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>