You known something is going mainstream when it hits the hotel floors, airport lounges and bathroom stalls in everyone’s favorite quick read – USA Today. Yesterday, they had a useful piece by Anh Ly called; RSS feeds college students' diet for research. This story has some interesting quotes from people in the academic world about the benefits of RSS:
"It saves me a lot of time and energy," says Ediriwickrema, an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. "I can quickly find what I'm looking for without having to go from Web site to Web site, and I get the most up-to-date information."
For Sara Knechtel, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, RSS comes as a relief from the proliferating sea of bogus information on the Web.
Another quote I like from the article is where the author describes how the typical single-page presentation of RSS feeds gives, "the added benefit of tracking a large number of sources in one place, making it easy to compare the usefulness and credibility of different sources."
In doing demos to research librarians, student, researchers and professors over the last several months, I have found that most people get these benefits quickly when they see Onfolio's RSS reader in action, even though for the most part none of them were very interested in RSS at the beginning of the demo. Recently, I've been demoing a new feature that we haven't quite released yet that allows you to capture bibliogrpahic references from an RSS feed directly into EndNote. This has made people even more exciting about RSS because with this combination of features, it's now very easy to monitor developments in an academic discipline and populate and EndNote library with references in a single step.
The story also talks about the fact that for people doing a lot of research, having just an RSS reader alone isn’t really enough – you need a tool that can also help you capture and organize the information you find through your RSS feeds. They compare Onfolio and Pluck, and give Onfolio the nod for people who do “serious research.”