Customizing a Netvibes Page to Subscribe to RSS Feeds from Web Pages and Blogs

Purpose

Understanding how to build and edit a Netvibes page to manage your RSS feeds.

In this tutorial sheet you will learn how to:

  1. Open an account and sign in
  2. Delete a content box
  3. Add a feed
    • find, copy, and paste a feed from your favorite site
  4. Move a content box

Software Needed

Web browser software such as FireFox, Internet Explorer, or Netscape . The software is web-based

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

Before beginning the tutorial please make sure you have read the background information.

Overview

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Lesson 1: Getting Started

In this lesson you will learn how to create an account and delete the default content. Your Netvibes page has boxes called modules. In the image below each of the Netvibes modules have been highlighted in red.

main screen

If you look closely you will notice that there are different types of modules (boxes). One module displays your new Gmail email messages.The module below the Gmail one displays the newest posts from the blog Boing Boing. Another module in the lower right corner will display pictures from your Flickr account. (Flickr is an online photo-sharing application). In this tutorial we will focus on adding one type of module-- an RSS (or Atom) Feed.

 

Activity 1:Creating an Account

Netvibes is a web-based application. You can access your Netvibes page from any computer that allows you to freely surf the Internet. You just need your login and password.

  1. Go to http://www.netvibes.com/
  2. In the top right corner of the screen click on the sign in link sign in
    You should see the window below:sign in
  3. To create a new account click on Sign up. You will need a valid email address to sign up for a new account. This will be your login.
  4. To create you account type in your email address and a password for your netvibes page. Make sure the password is secure and one that you will remember.
    new account
    Once you click on Sign up any changes you make to the Netvibes page will remain so now you can customize it to your own preferences. Also you should notice your email address in the top right of the screen whenever you are signed in.
 

mouse

Activity 2: Deleting Content

When you first create your account and login you will see the default content for Netvibes. Before you add your own content you need to delete the default content.

  1. To delete content you will first need to select it by rolling your mouse over the light blue title bar of the module box.
    title bar
  2. When you roll over the title bar the content editing options should appear in the top right corner of the box.
    edit box
  3. Click on the grey X to delete the module. Delete all of the default modules. For an explanation of the editing options please see the table below:
refresh clicking on the circular arrows will refresh your feed
publish clicking on the envelope icon will give you options for sharing your page
Options Icon clicking on the drop down arrow will provide you with additional options such as printing the module, changing the color of the title bar, moving the module and duplicating the module
edit Clicking on edit will give you additional editing options. You can change the number of feeds displayed and whether the post date and more details show.
delete clicking on the X deletes your module

 


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Lesson 2: Customizing your Netvibes Page

Now that you have cleared the default content from your page you are ready to customize it!

 

Activity 1: Changing the Title of the Page

  1. To title your page highlight the text that says Type your page title here at the top of the screen.
    title
  2. Type in your new title
 

mouse

Info
You can also get the feed by clicking on the XML icon xml icon. Sometimes the link for the RSS feed will have a link that says "Syndicate this site (RSS)". All blogs should have an RSS feed even if the rss icon does not appear in the URL field.

Another way to add a feed is to copy and paste the URL of the page into the Add a Feed box. Netvibes will search for the RSS feed.

Activity 2: Add a Feed

Before you add a RSS feed to your page you  will need to get the URL from your favorite blog or web page. In this tutorial we are going to show you how to add the RSS feed from Tech Learning.

  1. Open an New Window or a New Tab in your web browsers by going to File>New Window or File> New Tab.
  2. Go to http://www.techlearning.com/ in your new browser window. (Keep your Netvibes page open.)
  3. In the URL (web address) field you will notice an orange icon. This rss icon indicates that you can get the RSS feed for this site. (See the image below)

rss icon in url field

  1. Click once on the rss icon rss icon
  2. Select Subscribe to "TechLEARNING.com RSS Feed..."
    subscribe to feed
  3. You will be transferred to a new page. On the new page copy the web address (URL) (The address is http://www.techlearning.com/rss/all.xml). You will copy it by highlighting the address and pressing CTRL + C. (or Edit> Copy)You are going to paste this into your Netvibes page.

  1. Go back to the window displaying your Netvibes page.
  2. Click on the link Add content link in the upper left corner.
    add content
  3. A new menu pane will appear. Click on Add a feed.
    add content menu
  4. A new window will appear. Click in the field next to the Add Feed button and paste the TechLearning URL by pressing on CTRL +V. add feed window
  5. Click on the Add feed button. Netvibes will then verify the feed and it will show up below the area you pasted the URL.. Once the feed is verified you can click on the Feed title bar and then click on Add To My Page button.
    Add to page image
  6. A new box will appear on your page displaying the most recent additions to Tech Learning.
    tech learning
  7. The Tech Learning feed not only displays articles but also special features from the site. You can repeat the steps for this activity to add the feeds from the following sources:

 

 

Activity 3: Moving Content

When you add a content box (module) they will be stacked one on top of another. To see all of your feeds on your page without scrolling you will want to move the boxes around.

  1. To move a box click on the title bar of the box you want to move (hold the mouse button down.) A cross with arrows should appear.
  2. While holding down the mouse drag the box to a new place on the screen. When you get close to a an empty place in the page a dotted red rectangle will appear. This is to indicate where your content box will be if you release the mouse button.
    move screen
    You can now move your other boxes around to customize your page.
 

Wrap Up:

In this tutorial you have learned how to subscribe to RSS feeds and add by using an aggregator called Netvibes. You can go on to add other modules or feeds to customize your page. If you use blogs in your classroom you might want to use Netvibes to keep track of new postings by your students. You can create a new tab just for your classroom feeds.

To search for blogs related to technology and education you might want to use the following sources: