Reading each other’s publications

 We often complain about students who don’t read newspapers any more.

Question: How many of you read other JACC COMMUNITY COLLEGE newspapers. Not many, I would guess. And I’ll bet even fewer of your students do.

Oh, sure there are a handful of newspapers we get mailed to us from other schools that my students will look at, and once in a while they’ll read an article. Mostly, though, they look at design.

Same thing when I visit or can get my students to visit other sites, which is easy enough to do through the pull-down menu on the JACC web site.

Even then, finding and reading stories can be a chore. Not every one puts every story on the front page, some designs make it hard to find stories, and who knows how long a story has been sitting there. Wait long enough and you’ll be seduced by the same clever headline.

That’s one of the things I like about RSS (really simple syndication). If your publication has it (all College Publisher sites and only one or two non-CP sites do) then you can go to a plain vanilla look of the publication’s web site and concentrate on the stories and see the most recent stories. (BTW, this is when you begin to realize how poorly we write online headlines.)

But going to each publication’s RSS feed takes time and I only today learned how to create merged RSS feeds using a free web tool called Feedweaver. The tool lets you combine up to 20 feed sites into one feed. You can even out some filters with the feed URLs so that only stories with key words in them will show up on the feed.

I’ve created three such woven feeds for JACC publications that have RSS feeds. Those schools not using College Publisher may want to learn how to create such feeds. It’ll increase your overall readership if you do and you publicize them. 

Check out the new feeds and see what other schools are writing about. You may find great stories related to what your students are writing about or come up with ideas for stories your students could and should be doing locally on your own campuses. Links to the feeds will show up soon on the JACC web site, but for now, try these links:

JACC Publications A-F www.jacconline.org/pubsaf

JACC Publications G-R www.jacconline.org/pubsgr

JACC Publications S-Z www.jacconline.org/pubssz

Without these I might have missed College of the Desert’s , “Former VC coach pleads not guilty”, Mt. San Antonio’s “Sex through text” opinion article, or Santa Ana’s “SAC officials stray from standards”.

Want a custom combination of schools? Let me know. Or create your own free account at Feedweaver.

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