GReader, Twitter Feeds, and Searching the PLN

Not sure how I missed this the first a couple days ago, but luckily @psychemedia called my attention to it today. Scott Leslie has a great post on using Twitter with Google Reader and the implications of that.

Money graf is here:

I’m not sure how many people actually realize that GReader allows you to search across all the feeds your subscribe to (or even a specific feed). Why is this important? Because – if it’s in my feed reader it has already reached a certain level of ‘trust’ as a source for me. I’m not saying I “believe” everything in my feed reader, but the vast majority come from people who are curating their own identities/output, whose context overlaps mine to some extent (otherwise I wouldn’t be subscribing to them). Being able to see who else in my network wrote or linked to something I find is of great use for me, increases my ability to assess information 10 fold.

I’ve been doing this in a slightly different configuration (I use gtweet), but I can vouch it works as advertised. Like Scott, I started doing this several months ago; for me the reason was I wanted to get out of the Skinner-box behavior that Twitter can elicit from me (I get to constantly checking for pellets) – a great way to do that is put twitter in a feed and read a whole days tweets at once.

But as my reader filled with tweets, I quickly discovered the search benefit. When searching my feeds for something like collaboration, I can see tweets referencing material on collaboration as well (of course, I make sure I use the twit-iom “collab”).  Perhaps an even more common use is to see if someone has been covering an issue that I want to write on. If someone in my network has been talking about, say, the realtionship of independent bookstores to state colleges recently I want to make sure I add to that discussion rather than start an unrelated discussion that doesn’t build on what’s already been said.

The most fascinating thing about this to me, as a person that has just come out of writing draft new media fluency standards for the college, is how natural this activity is for all of us (that so many people have discovered it independently), yet how hard it is to explain to people that it is this sort of tuning of your PLN that represents true fluency.

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One thought on “GReader, Twitter Feeds, and Searching the PLN

  1. Alan Levine says:

    There is something to be said for sifting twitter outside of twitter, so you dont get caught up in the free flow. I’m a hard core RSS consumer

    My reservations on following more was changed by Alec Couros’ strategy- follow a lot, but dont read them- do some intelligent searching/filtering (using tweet deck column filters)
    http://educationaltechnology.ca/couros/1683

    I also get a lot out of the Social Media Firehose Yahoo Pipe
    http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=f1ae63990f6d5b9e48ce807a77bb9995

    I bring this into GReader with a search on my organization, so I can track its mentions across several planes.

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