There was a time when I had no idea what RSS was, or had any clue as to what an aggregator might do for me, or had more than a limited notion of the concept of “pull” when it comes to bringing information to you. And that time wasn’t really all that long ago. I still remember the meeting where my National Writing Project friend Christina Cantrill said the word “Bloglines” to me, and explained how it would “aggregate” my “feeds” and it was as if she were speaking a foreign language to me. I had no idea what she was even talking about, although I probably nodded my head “yes” as if I did. (I’m good at that)
Christina was speaking another language (tech tongue?), really, and yet I needed to know what she was telling me because we were in the midst of a pretty large blogging project with multiple sites and, as the project leader, I was having to go to each site to check up on updates. That was a lot of surfing. I didn’t immediately catch what Christina was telling me. It too some time to sink in, to wrap my head around it, but soon I went to a RSS Aggregator called Bloglines, and I was hooked. It also helped that at the time, I was reading Will Richardon’s book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom and Richardson was clear that RSS was a game changer for gathering tools to transform the classroom.
I used Bloglines for a long stretch of time, and loved it. Except it kept breaking down on me. There were times when I would not get updates when I knew there were updates. I have patience with technology but there was a point when I finally said “enough” and moved over to Google Reader, which I love.
I learned the other day that Bloglines is now dead. I’m sorry to see it go, even though I wasn’t using it anymore. Bloglines brought me into the Web 2.0 world like nothing else had, and opened up doors for connecting with other teachers and learning from others, and stealing their ideas (I admit it). I’m grateful for that, old friend. I’m sorry you could not keep up with the sweeping changes, and sorry I had to abandon you.
Peace (in the feeds),