I recently revamped the subject guide for our Information Assurance (basically Info Security) masters program. One thing I did was mix together several info security news feeds into one using RSS Mix and syndicated it on the Web page using Feed2JS (which we now have installed on our own server — makes it MUCH faster). The head of the program was absolutely blown away by this. It’s just one of many ways that we can provide really innovative current awareness services to our patrons using RSS. Check out this great e-mail that David Rothman, a medical librarian in New York state, sent to Michael Stephens on how he has used RSS and aggregators to deliver targeted journal tables of contents to busy clinicians. Take a look at what he did, especially if you are a liaison librarian. This is definitely something I want to move towards in my services to the online graduate programs. Not only is it easier for the patron to get the information they want, but, for the librarian, the only work is the initial setting up of the feeds and getting the clinicians or faculty members started with an aggregator. Everyone’s happy!
For more useful info on marketing RSS, check out How to Sell RSS (Or Where the Feed Fanboys Drop the Ball) and Teaching RSS: A Discussion. Explaining RSS is much more difficult than it would seem to those of us who use it daily and these two blog posts really get to the heart of how to explain it simply and how to show why RSS is practical and useful in our daily lives.