Thing 10 : Social reading

What does the phrase ‘social reading’ bring to mind for you?  We thought it could be explored in a number of different ways:

  1. tools to read social media and RSS
  2. tools and apps to interact with other readers … ( Allison Mennella explored the question “What is “Social Reading” and why should Libraries care?”  and Goodreads and LibraryThing are popular options)
  3. activities like online book clubs (eg Read Watch Play Twitter reading group) and Twitter chats (eg. #libchat #uklibchat #rwpchat)

For this Thing, in keeping with our focus on mobile technologies, we have chosen to look at the mobile apps that support reading social media and RSS feeds efficiently.  Until recently, Google Reader was one of the most popular rss readers and the announcement that it would be discontinued after July 1, 2013  caused a great disturbance in the library world and further afield.


  • So what is RSS and why does it matter? RSS feeds are fixed pre programmed streams of “latest” content used to publish frequently updated works, like blog posts and lists of new items added to a library catalogue.  RSS together with APIs are two of the ways your apps and some other web tools collect new information. This Commoncraft video explains RSS in plain English
  • If you want to follow a number of blogs and other social media feeds you will need an aggregator.  Try out Feedly which will draw together your RSS feeds, Tumblr blogs and Youtube channels (Android and iOS apps available)
  • Do you need to save something to read later? Pocket  is available for Android and iOS and works with quite a few other programs and apps.  You can save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite.


  • Flipboard, an app that aggregates your social media feeds (including RSS) allowing you to view your own ‘magazine’ and to share it with your friends.
  • NewsBlur  is another option with web, iPad, iPhone, and Android options.
  • Pulse aggregates blogs, magazines, social networks and newspapers.
  • Do you set out to gather together items you’ve read around themes to reshare like a newspaper or magazine?  You can use tools like and etc.   See the Pinterest board for more options.


  • Which top 3 blogs do you rely on for keeping up to date with trends in the GLAM industry? Add your favourites to this shared list.
  • Would some client groups at your library be interested in receiving curated collections of links and posts?  Perhaps for ‘hot topics’ that are rapidly changing like social media applications?
  • Do you find it easier to follow blogs etc. in a reader or do you rely more on Twitter for current information?  Do you know which option your library clients prefer?

6 Comments on “Thing 10 : Social reading

  1. Has anyone got a staff, shared RSS aggregation tool at their workplace where you all share the same blogs/news sources? I have regularly thought about setting this up but never seem to get around to it. Would be keen to hear if anyone has done it, and how it’s working. Does it encourage a culture of professional reading and engagement?

  2. Well this thing saw me ‘lost’ and loving it, for a good few hours on Library Thing and Pulse. I’m really looking forward to being able to keep up to date with the library world and personal interest much more easily. So far the closest we’ve got to a staff sharing of info the way Jodie talks about is by routing Library Science journals. We have a staff blog and an increasing number of staff are emailing relevant links to all library staff. But I can see a day when we will use an aggregator.

  3. Pingback: The Things | MCPV Learning 2.0 Program 2013

  4. Pingback: My Patronus Is a Bookworm - Thing 10: Social Reading

  5. Pingback: Thing 10 – Social Reading | 23 Mobile Things

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Jan Holmquist | Mylee Joseph | Kathryn Barwick 2013