6 min read
In my previous post — Top 3 Curation Tools for Reading — I wrote about the tools I use for most of my reading online: Inoreader, Google+, and Twitter. What makes these tools really powerful for me is that they are also tools for sharing. To me, that is where the value of curation comes through: if I share the valuable things that I read, it then improves the quality of the network in which I participate. It's an endless cycle because what I am reading is often the product of similar curation by others in my network. So, they read, curate and share, and then I read what is shared so that I can also curate and share, and on and on. Not a vicious circle: a virtuous one!
There are lots of other tools that I use for sharing online, like PInterest, Diigo, etc., and I will write up some posts about them too if I have time. In terms of my daily routine, though, just as Inoreader, Google+, and Twitter are the tools I use all day long for reading, they are also the tools I use every day for sharing.
Sharing with INOREADER. Lots of content comes into my Inoreader account every day, and lots of content goes out! Inoreader is not just an RSS reader but a powerful syndication tool. Here are the ways that I share content outwards using Inoreader:
Share-to-Google+ button. As I am read news items and blog posts, I often share to Google+ using the Inoreader share button. This is the usual kind of sharing you would expect to do with a feed reader... but Inoreader offers some much more creative sharing options:
Outgoing "Combo" RSS feeds. Using tags (some assigned manually, some automatically), I use Inoreader to share all kinds of combination RSS feeds which can also be displayed as HTML. An example is my personal feed at mythfolklore.net which allows me to share in a single RSS feed all my activity across Twitter (both accounts), Google+, all my personal blogs, along with anything I want to manually add to the feed from inside Inoreader. AMAZING. You can see lots more examples of these combination feeds at my course hubs — Myth-Folklore and India — where I am combining the blogs of students in those classes into a single feed (single feed for the class or for a specific type of assignment).
IFTTT to Blogger blog. One of the main things I like to collect and share are memes and other thought-provoking graphics. The way I do this in Inoreader is via an IFTTT recipe which automatically blogs items in Inoreader to which I add the tag "dographic" — and you can see the results here: Inoreader Graphics. I started doing this in July, and I've got over 400 items there now, all automatically reposted from Inoreader. Occasionally I'll find something outside Inoreader that I want to save this way and I post it to the blog manually, but that's rare: since Inoreader collects my own Twitter and Google+ streams, the graphics I am resharing in those networks also become part of my Inoreader stream, which means IFTTT can send them to my blog. SO COOL. I'm guessing I could use IFTTT to create some other powerful Inoreader recipes... now that I am confident at how well this system works, I might try some more experiments like my graphics experiment.
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Sharing with Google+. Unlike Inoreader and Twitter, Google+ does not have a lot of great tool to facilitate sharing outside of the Google+ network (I would say that is one of its biggest drawbacks). I wish Google+ offered widgets (like Twitter) or RSS features (like Inoreader)... but it does have one very powerful sharing tool: the good old-fashioned link. Every Google+ post/conversation is directly linkable and, if you post publicly, the post page is on the open Internet with no need to be logged on to Google to see the post. So, in addition to all the sharing I do inside Google+, I also share Google+ conversations by means of links. As an example, here is a conversation from last week: Ursula Le Guin. You can also embed Google+ posts although I usually just link rather than embedding. Here's that conversation embedded (click on the icon to see the comments people left on the post):
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Sharing with TWITTER. Twitter is obviously a space where sharing goes on all the time, and everybody who uses Twitter knows how to retweet. There are some other kinds of sharing that I do with Twitter, though, which I want to note here:
Twitter widgets. I am a huge fan of Twitter widgets. I have Twitter widgets in the sidebars of my blogs and, most importantly, a Twitter widget for my classes inside our learning management system. I've written a blog post about that which also explains the huge value I see in using Twitter for my classes: Bring a D2L Homepage to Life with a Twitter Widget.
Classic Retweet extension. One of the most powerful things about Twitter is the hashtag (my Twitter widgets are hashtag-driven for example), so being able to add hashtags to content that I retweet is essential. This used to be standard in Twitter (when you retweeted, you could edit)... but Twitter took that option away. Luckily, though, you can use Classic Retweet extension (I use it in both Chrome and Firefox) to have the option to add hashtags to your retweets. This extension was a game-changer for me; if I can retweet with an extension, it greatly increases the value of the retweet for me and, often, for others as well.
Storify. This is another nifty tool for resharing Twitter content; for example, I've been using Storify to document and archive our #OpenTeachingOU Twitter chats. Here's the Storify of our chat last week about growth mindset: