Recently in Feeds and Alerts Category

Google+ Notifications by Circle

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Google has added notifications by circle, e.g. when you select this option, you'll be notified by the notification box in the Google Bar and via email (unless you go turn it off).

Click to see full-size image.

Google+ Notifications.jpeg

This is a nifty improvement since you can save your visits to Google+ for when there's new information to see.

Trapit: Find news on a specific topic

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I just read about Trapit over on the ProfHacker blog and had to give it a try myself to see how it compares to other alert/feed tools. Unlike an RSS reader, Trapit allows you to search for a topic (set a trap), and then it snags articles from around the web on that topic. Then, you can fine-tune your trap by giving articles a thumbs up or thumbs down Pandora-style, so that no two traps are exactly alike.

I joined a couple of popular shared traps on "Big Data" and "Digital Textbooks" and then set traps for some of my subject areas and found some interesting articles I would not have stumbled across otherwise. So far, I'm finding that it's a good way to take the current pulse of a topic and to see what's out there that you might have missed, but it's no replacement for my RSS reader in terms of keeping track of news sites and blogs that I know I want to see everything from.

I do appreciate the way Trapit is laid out visually, and they have an iPad app coming out soon. Here is a screen shot from my Food Science trap.


Google Reader

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Google Reader is now available as part of the University of Minnesota Google Apps suite. Here's some more information from Charlie Heinz:

"Google Reader for UMN : it's here! I talked with a Google Implementation Team member, and he told me that they flipped the switch last Thursday. When you're logged in (, you'll see in the bar at the top your usual options: Mail, Calendar, Docs, etc. Go to "More". Not everything on this page is actually activated at the U, but scroll down to the "Social" section (third section from the bottom) and click on Reader.

The person I talked to didn't have any tips about migrating your RSS subscriptions from your personal account, and he also stressed that support questions for Reader should go to Google and its support forums, not At the moment, they are only supporting the core apps: mail, calendar, docs, sites, and contacts.

There's a group called "ITLA" that reviews requests for new apps and changes to apps every month. The requests they have received include FeedBurner, Picasa, Google Labs for Gmail, and Google Groups, among others."

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