Dealing with Information Overload….or how do I keep up with all of those RSS feeds…

I taught a demo class on Pageflakes to an Experimental Physics class today: Assignment Page:
Demo Page:

It was a great way to start the conversation about incorporating web2.0 tools into your everyday scientific life. Many of the students use Facebook, but they aren't using it to collaborate with any of their science mentors or publishers, etc. Of course, you have to be careful to "clean up" your profile, but I think it is a wonderful collaborative tool.
The students had a couple of great questions. One was, "How do you know that you aren't missing articles in the RSS feeds." This is, of course, a downside to Pageflakes–you can't mark an article as read which you can do with some of the other readers. But, as I see it, the strength of Pageflakes is the collaborative part–really sharing your page with the community, whatever community that is, and maybe having text boxes where readers can leave comments, etc. I think if you are using Pageflakes to entirely keep up with your literature reading, you might, indeed, miss something. Better to set up your RSS feeds in a different way. recommends a folder system. Perhaps, even better, is simply to do a full-out literature review at certain periods, and scan the results of those. I'm thinking a search in Scopus,, and Inspec, for example. Anyway, this is something that I'm going to think about for a few days. That is the great thing about teaching a class–the students always push your knowledge!! Thanks!

About effervescentlibrarian

UX Librarian at Rice University, Houston, Texas.
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