Building Your PLN – Part 2

Last time, I started fleshing out ways to find sources for building your PLN (Personal Learning Network), and I would like to build a little more on that topic today.

One thing I would like to add on the topic of RSS feeds from my previous post, is that Google Reader has a wonderful feature where it recommends posts and feed sources based on those to which you have subscribed.  For example, if you are on a blog, click the “Subscribe” button, and choose to add the feed to Google Reader, Reader will give you suggestions based on that feed immediately.  If you do not choose any at that point, you can later go back and click the down arrow to the right of a feed or folder in your subscriptions list, and see suggestions on the pop-out menu “More Like This”.  There are also sections under the “Explore” heading, where Reader will recommend feeds and articles based on your subscriptions and articles you star.

If you belong to professional associations, checking their blogs and websites often (or adding their RSS feeds to your feed reader) is a great way to keep on top of important topics in your industry.  On top of the general association blogs, often the various sections and divisions will also have individual blogs and websites.

One of my favorite sources for finding new blogs and online articles is an iPad magazine app called Zite.  When you first use Zite, you enter keywords and topics that you are interested in, and this produces sections of the magazine.  You then have the option to thumb-up or down articles as you read and the app learns from your interaction with it.  The magazine will adapt to your preferences, and show you more articles on topic you like, and less on those you are not interested in.  Zite is also integrated with services like Facebook, Twitter, Read It Later, LinkedIn and email, to make sharing of articles all the more convenient.

There are quite a few similar apps about, generally they aggregate content from your social media accounts or other pre-defined sources, PaidContent.org did a nice comparison of some of these apps.

One final resource I would like to share today is a website called Paper.li.  Paper.li is an aggregator, where you can enter feeds from sources such as Twitter, RSS, and Facebook, and it will send you daily digest “newspaper”.  If you do not want to create papers from your own feeds and wish do discover new ones, you can search and subscribe to people or papers, or just look at staff picks and popular topics on the home page.  Paper.li also has a web app for mobile use, so it is convenient to use on many devices.

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