Kathy Dunlap, one of the participants in my digital storytelling workshop this evening, directed me to Frank Baker’s website Media Literacy Clearinghouse: critical thinking about media messages. The site definitely has a wealth of resources related to media literacy. I applaud the goal of the site, stated on the “Math In the Media” page as:

…also designed to help young people become more “media literate.” To be media literate is to understand the role and impact of media in our lives. Media literacy is involved with understanding how media are produced. It includes the decision making process of the media producer. It also involves asking questions about the source and reliability of information and mass media messages. One of the KEY CONCEPTS OF MEDIA LITERACY is that media are businesses, designed to make profits.

The Media Use Statistics page contains a wealth of cited stats that could be valuable to many for presentations relating to educational technology. One example cited from CommonSenseMedia is:

• 85% of Parents say the Internet is the most risky for kids compared to 13% for TV
• 91% of Parents say that the Internet helps their kids explore things they’re passionate about
• 77% of Parents say they see the Internet as an important tool to help their kids learn
• 80% of Parents worry about predators in their kids’ Internet use
• 76% of Parents say they would like to make the Internet a safer place for kids
• 83% of Parents say There is no excuse for not knowing enough about the Internet to protect your kids or teens
• 88% of parents think it’s more important to know what their kids are doing online than to respect their kids’ privacy
• 87% of parents seek out information about their kids’ Internet use a few times a month

These resources look great, but I was in for a surprise when I clicked the link for “Frank’s Blog.” I looked for a feed, tried to subscribe with Bloglines, and guess what? There doesn’t appear to be a feed!

So I have some apparent news for Frank: A website without an RSS or ATOM feed (a web feed) is not a blog! You can call it a blog by putting that title at the top, you can even update it every day, but if it doesn’t have a feed– it’s not a blog!

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3 Responses to No feed = no blog

  1. Eric says:

    I have to disagree with your statement that it is not a blog. Consider Wikipedia’s definition;

    “A blog is a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.

    Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.”

    “Frank’s Blog” fits that definition. One could debate whether that is a complete definition, but I’d argue that rss feeds are a common attribute of blogs, but not a critical attribute. Also, rss feeds are not exclusive to blogs, and are being used to show headlines from traditional news sites, updates to wikis, links added to del.icio.us, and more.

    I do share your disappointment when I come across sites, really any web site, that lacks an rss feed. To me this shows a lack of imagination and an inability to keep up with new technology.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    My feeling in not finding an RSS feed is really more one of regret, since that means I can’t “pull” their information into my RSS aggregator (bloglines) to access their content more easily. I agree that Frank is updating his site fairly frequently, and it seems to meet WikiPedia’s definition– I think it’s the first site I’ve seen claiming to be a blog that doesn’t have a feed, however. Point well taken, I appreciate your commentary and viewpoint.

  3. dustbury.com says:

    No feed? Begone!…

    Is the feed an irreducible element of the blog? Wesley Fryer thinks so: A website without an RSS or ATOM feed … is not a blog! You can call it a blog by putting that title at the top, you……

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