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RSS Newsfeeds and Podcasting

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Given to University of Manchester WebCT User Group 22nd November 2005

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RSS Newsfeeds and Podcasting

  1. 1. RSS Newsfeeds and Podcasting <ul><li>University of Manchester WebCT User Group </li></ul><ul><li>22 nd November 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Adrian Stevenson </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Technology Services </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some slides in this presentation are based on original presentations produced by the JISC-funded QA Focus project provided by UKOLN and AHDS </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  2. 2. RSS <ul><li>What is RSS? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs” – from xml.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What does RSS stand for? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Several different views: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Netscape called it Rich Site Summary (v 0.92) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>W3C felt it should be based on RDF/XML to provide extensibility and called it RDF Site Summary (v 1.0) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dave Winer (& others) valued its simplicity and developed an alternative called Really Simple Syndication (v 2.0) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Some background <ul><li>Initial attempts at news ‘solutions’ included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scrolling ticker tape – BBC News </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscriptions to email alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But .. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content usually only from one source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often proprietary solution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An open standards solution with widely available authoring tools and viewers was needed. </li></ul>
  4. 4. RSS - History <ul><ul><li>Initially developed for My.Netscape portal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The potential for this adaptable solution was quickly recognised and widely taken up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now there are many RSS readers and authoring tools available </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. RSS Viewers <ul><li>Ways of accessing RSS feeds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog – eg. bloglines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmark interfaces –Mozilla Firefox ‘live’ bookmarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tickertape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email clients - Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. RSS File Format <ul><li>RSS is a light xml based format </li></ul>RSS News Items <item> <title>Primary reading set for overhaul</title> <description>The way children are taught to read in primary schools in England will be shaken up, the government confirms.</description> <link>http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/education/4485062.stm</link> <pubDate>Thu, 01 Dec 2005 09:46:17 GMT</pubDate> </item> Channels <rss version=&quot;2.0&quot;> <channel> <title>BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition</title> <link>http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/default.stm</link> <description>Updated every minute of every day</description> <language>en-gb</language>
  7. 7. RSS Authoring Tools <ul><li>Creating RSS feeds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hand coding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Client authoring tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web-based tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://rssxpress.ukoln.ac.uk / </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transformation by an application or a web server program that converts to HTML to RSS </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Publishing an RSS Feed <ul><li>Upload the RSS file to a web server at a ‘persistent’ location e.g. http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/webmaster-2005/news.xml </li></ul><ul><li>Use the <link> tag in your news page so RSS tools like FireFox live bookmarks can be used </li></ul><ul><ul><li><link href=&quot;http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/webmaster-2005/news.xml&quot; rel=&quot;alternate&quot; type=&quot;application/rss+xml&quot; title=&quot;IWMW 2005 News&quot; /> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Validate the news feed - http://feedvalidator.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Add to WebCT – Laura Shaw will demonstrate how to add a news feed to WebCT </li></ul>
  9. 9. Podcasting - What is it? <ul><li>Podcasting is a very popular subject in the press – over hyped? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some say it’s transforming society and freeing the airwaves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasting does allow you to set up a radio station and ‘broadcast’ on the web easily and cheaply </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RSS and Podcasting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasting is an application of RSS 2.0: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is simply the syndication of audio, typically mp3 files, instead of text (RSS news feeds) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can schedule the download of the mp3 files and listen to them offline e.g. on a portable mp3 player such as an Apple iPod </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very easy for the end user and relatively easy for the publisher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can be difficult to do well –it helps to have some sound recording skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many Podcast directories http://www.podcastalley.com/ , BBC </li></ul>
  10. 10. Podcasting and [e-]Learning <ul><li>The University of Bath provides a highly-regarded e-learning Blog, Auricle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.bath.ac.uk/dacs/cdntl/pMachine/morriblog.php </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Auricle has now added some Podcasts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skype interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, Podcasting still fairly new to HE sector </li></ul>
  11. 11. Institutional Web Management Workshop <ul><li>Podcasting at Institutional Web Management Workshop, Manchester, 6-8 July: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief Podcasts released prior to event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One keynote talks now podcasted </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Accessing a Podcast <ul><li>To access a Podcast: </li></ul><ul><li>Install Podcast software e.g. iTunes, Juice, Jager, Blogmatrix, … </li></ul><ul><li>Add the URL of RSS file to the podcast software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IWMW 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BBC Film reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Various configuration options are usually available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scheduling for downloads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The download location of mp3 file </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transfer files to portable mp3 player such as an iPod (using e.g. iTunes, Winamp) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Creating a Podcast <ul><li>Make the recording: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Install audio recording software e.g. Audacity open source software or use Windows Sound Recorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best to use good quality microphone and a PC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recording usually made in a ‘native’ file format such as ‘wav’ and then converted to mp3 file </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Upload the recording to a web server </li></ul><ul><li>Create an RSS file for the recording </li></ul>
  14. 14. Creating a Podcast (2) <ul><li>Early adopters approach – copy & edit an existing RSS file </li></ul><item> <title>Podcast 1 For IWMW 2005</title> <link>http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/…podcasts/podcast-iwmw-2005-01.mp3</link> <guid>http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/…/ podcasts/#podcast-01</guid> <description>This introductory Podcast describes what a Podcast is and …. ( 2.5 minute long MP3 recording, ~1.6 MB).</description> <enclosure url=&quot;http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ …/podcasts/podcast-iwmw-2005-01.mp3&quot; length=&quot;1575770&quot; type=&quot;audio/mpeg&quot;/> <pubDate>Sun, 12 Jun 2005 ...</pubDate> </item> <channel> <title>IWMW 2005 Podcasts</title> <link>http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/podcasts/podcasts.xml </link> <description>Podcasts About IWMW 2005</description> <language>en-gb</language> <copyright>Creative Commons - Attribution and Share-alike</copyright> <pubDate>Wed, 15 Jun 2005 10:00:00 GMT</pubDate>
  15. 15. Usage Scenarios <ul><li>Podcasting is not a replacement for the ‘real thing’ – the live lecture theatre experience </li></ul><ul><li>But it means you can … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>access lectures, conference presentations etc. after the event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide some support in case of problems (e.g. couldn't attend talk), conflicts (parallel sessions), … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a 'taster', helps in marketing, addresses additional areas (e.g. social activities), … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keeping informed of developments elsewhere </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Questions?