Alternative Voices on the Internet: Managing the News Online - Grassroots Media Conference 2008

Full workshop description at

Definitions and context

What is Web 2.0?
- "Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived or proposed second generation of Web-based services...that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users." wikipedia
- "What Is Web 2.0?" by Tim O'Reilly
- Semantic Web (WC3)
- people can be both consumers (readers, followers, etc.) of a resource as well as contributors to it
- the more a resource is used, the stronger it becomes
- a so-called "Web 2.0" tool such as RSS allows us to manage our intake of news and information and can allow us writers/journalists/creators of content to reach more people

What is RSS?
- foundation is XML files, written in a markup language that formats them so they're machine-readable at a more detailed level than plain HTML files
- an RSS file is a particular type of XML file that contains stories and summaries

How do I find the news? How can I locate RSS Feeds specifically?

General Web Search Engines (search for blogs and posts on topics of interest)
- Scroogle
- Technorati
- Google Blog Search

News Feed (RSS) Search Engines (use to search for feeds-not posts or individual articles)
- Syndic8
- Feedbase

Bloglines Directory (use to search for feeds or posts)
General News:
-Access via “search” tab when logged in OR directly at Bloglines Search

Additional Sources for Feeds, Including Specialized Feeds

General News:
- Global Voices Online
- Alternative Weeklies Feeds
- Indymedia Syndication

Government Info:

- Flickr
ex. search for photos with tag "anarchist" ( and subscribe to feed:

Tagging and Books:
- Library Thing

- Juice (formerly iPodder)
- Odeo

Subscription Databases (usually fee-based but available via public and academic libraries) The following are available through the Brooklyn Public Library
- Academic Search Premier (“create alert for this search” in EBSCO Host databases)
- New York State Newspapers

How do I manage the news?

Feed readers
(A Directory of RSS Aggregators)
- Bloglines
- Netvibes


Do these kinds of tools contribute to the media justice movement simply by making our job (as activists) of keeping track of news and developments easier? Do these tools really help us to find alternative media? Do they help us as creators of media online?

Do you think that subscribing to RSS feeds might ultimately limit the amount of sources you encounter, or will it inspire you to widen your Web reading?

Bibliography, or See Also:
"Information Trapping" by Tara Calishain

GMC 2008 Handout.doc42 KB