cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Joe Lanman
One of the challenges I faced in cancelling my Google account was the calendar. The default Android calendar syncs only through a Google account. In the spirit of Project Reclaim, I tried to host a calendar server on my hosting account, but as of yet, I haven’t been able to figure out a way to sync it with a calendar on my phone, other than by interacting with it directly via a mobile web browser, which was awkward at best. What I’ve settled on instead is a combination of dotcal.com and aCal, which is available from the f-Droid repository as well as the Android Market. Dotcal seems to do everything that I used Google calendar for, and aCal syncs with it perfectly. Dotcal does warn that “online calendars may take up to 8 hours to update,” but I haven’t seen any noticeable delay in updating.
Now an RSS reader is the only real hole I have left to plug after closing down my Google account. I’ve been using Newsblur, which I like well enough, but unfortunately, the corresponding Android app, Blar, seems to be available only through the Android Market, which I can’t use because I closed my Google account, which is why I’m using Newsblur now, which is why I want Blar . . . #catch22
One more thing I like about WordPress blogs is that even if you can’t find a feed button, the default feed is [domain]/feed. So for example, if I’m reading Law and the Multiverse and can’t find the RSS feed, I know I can point my feed reader to http://lawandthemultiverse/feed and follow any updates.
(Edited because I realized that although Pedagogy First! uses WordPress, it doesn’t use the default feed. Test links, then post. Doh!)
I've been using Google Reader for a couple of years and think RSS is hugely useful. It frustrates me to no end when I find a cool website that has no RSS feed. (I also have terrible trauma trying to weed out my feed–I'm getting better at using "mark as read"). One semester I did a podcast for my online classes, and hand coded the RSS feed. I'm glad to know what goes into a feed, but I'm also glad I don't have to do that anymore. I have also used wordpress plugins to aggregate student blogs into my class blog (like the Pedagogy First! blog is doing), and before that used a netvibes account to pull in all of my students' blogs.
I didn't feel like hosting my own wordpress installation this year, so I'm using posterous
for my faculty web page
and class blogs
, and assigned my students to use posterous as well. I thought there would be a way to aggregate other posterous blogs into a single class blog, but that doesn't seem to be the case. My semester isn't working like I hoped it would, and so far I'm still not quite sure how I'll bring everyone together. For now, I'm following all of my students' blogs in posterous, which at least gives me a daily up date of what they've posted, but I think I'll need something else to use next semester. Maybe back to netvibes?
PS–I also <3 post by mail in posterous. I can bang out a quick email (like this one!), attach any media I want to post, and posterous just handles it. Intellectually, I know that there's not much difference in typing a post in a text box in gmail and typing one in a text box on a blogging site, but it just feels
easier. I can also forward college announcements to my blog and they post automatically.