Rip. Mix. Feed. Objects? EDUCAUSE 2004 Seminar

Today, Brian Lamb and I pulled of another rollercoaster wild ride presentation, one that more or less emerged and arose from the primordial soup of our minds 2 weeks ago,

The long scrolling title for today’s pre-conference Seminar was “Decentralization of Learning Resources: Syndicating Learning Objects Using RSS, Trackback, and Related Technologies” where we initially planned to focus on using RSS, Trackback, etc to connect learning objects (someone done before). It has been under wraps because, well it was infested with typos and half baked ideas, but now we release the presentation in its wiki-form:


We spun it around recently to more of a take on the Rip Mix. Feed concept for collecting information from numerous sources (via RSS?), using social filtering tools or RSS to “mix” them into new forms, and then Feed the, back as new content or re-syndicated content.

It began with some playful fun at the mysterious, mythincal, PeskyObjects where we shared some of our frustrations with the mammoth Learning Object Repository projects (heads were nodding).

Into the mix, we had participants find objects with RSS, load them in shared Bloglines accounts, and blog their results, demo-ed using Feed2JS to convert RSS to usable output in any web page, A quick overview of Trackback and how it (should) work in the MLX. But the more exciting part was introducing them to the tagging phenomena of social bookmarking with del.icio.us
and then the similar approach for tagging photos in flickr (and adding hotspots to images).

It was utterly ambitious, but we had an eager group, and much to our amazement, we covered it all. Check out a few snapshots in a flickr set.

One of our fun elements was that we randomly had assigned them to two different “teams” where each team could post to a different MovableType weblog, a bloglines account, a del.icio.us account, and a flickr account. Being from different parts of the Northern Hemisphere, one group’s blog hosted at UBC as the Canadian “Objects, Eh?” team while the other blog, hosted at Maricopa, was the Arizona Western theme of “Howdy Objects”. All of the above mentioned tools are incestuously RSS fed back to the blogs.

To make it even more freaky, we “dressed” up in our respective uniforms.

You can peek at the outcomes of what people did via:


Shared Feeds (Bloglines)

Shared Bookmarks (del.icio.us)

Shared Photos and “Objects” (Flickr)

If anything, we exposed people to some new tools to consider. There is much more appreciation for the role and potential of RSS for channeling information, but it is still an on the edge technology for many out there, even in the IT basecamps.

Well, it was fun, but draining. Now I can relax for the rest of the conference, or cynically blog from the back of the room.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Alan,

    That’s just fantastic work you’ve done with this workshop. Very impressive as always.


  2. Enjoyed your presentation. I have been using your Feed to JS site to put some feeds into my Blackboard course here in a polytechnic in Singapore.

    Thanks for keeping us informed of these interesting ideas.


  3. Thanks for tuning in David…. gotta cross paths sometime down the line.

    And thanks Preetam– it is interesting to know from Arizona we can help out in Singapore.

  4. Pingback: Abject Learning

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