My Rookie Mistakes

I'll keep a running list here of the mistakes I've made when using Inoreader so that you can avoid making these mistakes yourself. We all make mistakes, and that's a great way to learn... but you don't need to make the same mistakes that I did! :-)

1. Student Blogs - Multiple Folders. When I first subscribed to my students blogs, I put them into a separate folder for each class. Now I realize that I should have also had a folder for ALL the student blogs, regardless of which class they were in. Some rules are class-specific, but some of the rules are for all my classes. So, it would have made it easier to make the rules if I had just quickly added the student blogs both to their own class folder and to a "school" folder right from the start. For more information, see Subscribing to Student Blogs.

2. Blog Comments - One Folder. Likewise, I had put the student comment feeds into separate folders by class, but I realize that I did not need to do that; all the student comment feeds can go into one folder because they do not have separate rules applies. However, I did not take the extra step of renaming the blog comment feeds to show the student's name; that was a mistake. I need to apply the same renaming convention to the blog comment feeds as I do to the blog post feeds so that I can quickly check to see whose blog is being commented on at a single glance.

3. Be Aware of Inoreader's One-Time Fetch. When Inoreader goes and fetches the contents of a feed, it does not update that content if the content changes later. This has a lot of consequences for student blogs (not so much for other kinds of blogs and feeds), and it is the one real drawback I've found with Inoreader. There are a lot of little things to watch out for here, so I will write up a separate page about it, but here is the main thing: do not create assignments where your students will be updating / adding to an existing post. If you do that, you will never see when the student completes that part of the assignment, and you will not have that updated / expanded post available to you directly in Inoreader (although you can see it indirectly by clicking on the web display button). More details about all that on the One-Time Fetch page.

4. Problems with Pinterest RSS. On four different occasions in a single week, I had other people's random pins show up in my Pinterest feeds. This was very distressing (ugh! random stuff! Mary Kay cosmetics!), and the very helpful Inoreader engineer explained that some RSS services will throw bad feeds like that sometimes (he mentioned eBay as an example). When I contacted Pinterest, they denied even supporting RSS at all, which was very weird, since clearly there are RSS feeds, and I am subscribed to them for all my Boards! My solution to this problem is not to automatically syndicate any incoming content from Pinterest. So, instead of assigning my syndication tags automatically or syndicating my Pinterest folder, I just add the syndication tag manually. Since most of what I post at Pinterest already appears elsewhere in my omnifeed, that is not really a problem. I only have to add the syndication tag to items that appear at Pinterest and nowhere else (which, as a rule, means only items from my student's Storybooks, which is not more than ten or so per day).

Last updated: 11/23/2014.