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  1. Program Assessment User Session Experts (PAUSE)Subscription Services: RSS and Email Subscription Services October 3-5, 2006

  2. Your Hosts • Joe Peters, ITS JPO • Brian Philips, Mitretek Systems • Rob Maccubbin, Mitretek Systems • Jeff Trombly, SAIC • Juan Noltenius, SAIC • Matthew Rohrbach, Volpe Center/Cambridge Systematics

  3. Agenda • Agenda and Introductions 1:00 • Background Questionnaire Review 1:15 • RSS and Email Subscription Services 1:20 • Subscribing to RSS Feeds (a live demo / discussion) 2:00 • Subscribing to E-mail Service (a live demo / discussion) 2:10 • Subscription Services Testing and Wrap-up 2:20

  4. PAUSE Participants – Fall 2006

  5. How Frequently Returning PAUSE Members Use KR Websites n = 14 responses

  6. Background Questionnaire Survey - Part 1 Results n = 44 responses

  7. Background Questionnaire Survey - Part 1 Results n = 44 responses

  8. Background Questionnaire Survey - Part 1 Results Any questions about the homework?

  9. Subscription Services – Covered Topics • Need for Subscription Services • Overview of RSS – RSS and Knowledge Resources • What is RSS?, Benefits / Limitations, and How RSS works • Demo of RSS • What is the Email Subscription Service? • What is it?, Benefits / Limitations, and How the Email Subscription Service works • Joe Subscribes to RSS Feeds (a live demo / discussion) • Joe Subscribes to E-mail Service (a live demo / discussion) • Introduce concept of testing the Subscription Services • Ask for participation in testing • Survey

  10. Background on Need for Subscription Services • Diversity and breadth of knowledge • Applications Overview – 16 categories >> 176 specific applications (see http://www.itsoverview.its.dot.gov/) • Lessons Learned – 9 Lesson Categories >> 45 categories (see http://www.itslessons.its.dot.gov/) • States – see information by the 50 states (see http://www.itslessons.its.dot.gov/its/benecost.nsf/LessonStateHome)

  11. Background on Need for Subscription Services • Applications Overview – 16 categories >> 176 specific applications (see http://www.itsoverview.its.dot.gov/)

  12. Background on Need for Subscription Services • Lessons Learned – 9 Lesson Categories >> 45 sub-categories (see http://www.itslessons.its.dot.gov/)

  13. Background on Need for Subscription Services • States – show information by the 50 states (see http://www.itslessons.its.dot.gov/its/benecost.nsf/LessonStateHome)

  14. An Overview of RSS – RSS and Knowledge Resources • RSS allows you to receive selected "news items", such as: • "What's new" in Knowledge Resources (e.g., Costs, Benefits and Lessons Learned KRs) • ITS-related news items from Bernie Wagenblast's Transportation Communication Newsletter • Application Area news items (e.g., Arterial Management > Traffic Control) • Lesson Category news items (e.g., Design and Deployment > System Design)

  15. An Overview of RSS – What is RSS? • RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” (but can also stand for “Rich Site Summary”, or “RDF Site Summary”) • Works as an automated way to see "What's New" on a Web site • Requires a sender (manual or automated) and a subscriber • Also used as a method for distributing headline content and data between sites • Commonly used for news items and web log (“Blog”)

  16. An Overview of RSS – Benefits and Limitations of RSS • Benefits • Users can create customized news feeds that show only topics of individual interest • When this is performed for many sites, a customized view of information from many sources is aggregated in one place • This can save time over accessing many sites daily in order to discover new items

  17. An Overview of RSS – Benefits and Limitations of RSS • Limitations • 82% in a recent survey did not know what RSS was* • Requires work to set up the RSS reader • Requires work to identify sites to get news items from * http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115075895691584597-J7Zkgfyy0QteJpjOz_Obi7mmUH0_20060627.html?mod=blogs – Lee Gomes of Wall Street Journal

  18. An Overview of RSS – How RSS Works • Originating site creates an RSS “feed” or “channel,” which is an XML file accessed by a standard URL. • An RSS file consists of a list of items, each of which contains a title, description and a link to a web page • Date information • Users instruct their RSS tool to “subscribe” to the feed. • Tool automatically accesses and downloads new file(s) for each subscription and parses them to show summary and headline information in a convenient, easily viewed format. • User can then access more detail by navigating to content source from the RSS tool

  19. RSS – Washington Post Technology source New Washington Post Technology Channel Story Channel =WashingtonPost.com –Technology

  20. RSS – Transportation Communications Newsletter source New TCN news story for Traffic Control application area channel Channel = Intelligent Infrastructure – Arterial Management Systems – Traffic Control

  21. RSS – Lessons Learned Knowledge Resource source New Lessons Learned entry for Traffic Control application area channel Channel = Intelligent Infrastructure – Arterial Management Systems – Traffic Control

  22. Summary of Differences between RSS and Applications Overview Applications OverviewRSS • Only new items • Tailored to your interests regarding the types of ITS information you receive • Links to some stories may expire over time • Accessed through an RSS reader and browser • Archival • Searchable, for all information, not just new information • Accessed via browser

  23. RSS – Experiences Using It? • Has anyone used RSS? • Anyone want to share their experiences (good or bad)?

  24. An Overview of the Email Subscription Service – What is it? • Email Subscription Service is a method to distribute targeted and timely information to a subscriber using ordinary email • Subscriber selects subject and frequency of email receipt • Uses any email account • No need to install specialized software • No need to establish new email account

  25. An Overview of Email Subscription Service – How does it work? • Subscriber accesses webpage that describes the process for signing up to receive email • User provides email address and selects topic or topics of interest • User specifies frequency of email receipt (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly.) • Emails sent to address provided by user according to user specified schedule • User may modify or cancel email receipt at any time

  26. An Overview of Email Subscription Service – Benefits and Limitations • Benefits • Subscribers automatically receive information via email • Information may be compiled from several sources and consolidated into a single email • This can save time over accessing many sites daily in order to discover new items • Limitations • Email could be considered spam • User can be overwhelmed by amount of email received (independent of this service) and the emails from this service could get lost in email in-box

  27. Summary of Differences between RSS and Applications Overview Applications OverviewRSS • Only new items • Tailored to your interests regarding the types of ITS information you receive • Links to some stories may expire over time • Accessed through an RSS reader and browser • Archival • Searchable, for all information, not just new information • Accessed via browser

  28. Summary of Differences between Email Subscription Service and Applications Overview Applications OverviewEmail Subscription Service • Only new items • Tailored to your interests regarding the types of ITS information you receive • Links to some stories may expire over time • Accessed through email system and browser • Archival • Searchable, for all information, not just new information • Accessed via browser

  29. Thoughts on RSS or Email Subscription Service? • Thoughts or feedback on RSS or Email Subscription Service • Any questions?

  30. Subscribing to RSS Feeds & Email Subscription Service • Subscribing to RSS Feeds (a live demo / discussion) • Subscribing to Email Subscription Service (a live demo / discussion)

  31. Testing of Subscription Services • The results would then be used to modify and enhance the RSS and Email subscription service prototypes to better suit users’ needs. • Participants can subscribe to either the RSS or Email Subscription Service, or both. • Participants will be given a tutorial on RSS and/or Email Subscription Service to help them get set up RSS or ESS and participate in the testing

  32. Testing of Subscription Services • Results used to modify and enhance RSS and Email subscription service prototypes to better suit Users’ needs. • Participants can subscribe to either the RSS or Email Subscription Service, or both. • Participants will be given a an overview and instructions on RSS and/or Email Subscription Service to help them get set up RSS or ESS and participate in the testing.

  33. Testing of Subscription Services – Process Steps involved in helping to test the RSS and Email subscription services: • Indicate your interest in participating in testing the RSS or the Email subscription service, or both. • Receive email from Volpe on participation details • Install RSS reader software / subscribe to channels, and/or subscribe to email service. • Use RSS and/or Email subscription service. • Record comments on your usage in electronic journal. • Complete two on-line surveys. • Receive our thanks for participating, and a summary presentation on RSS and Email subscription service.

  34. Background Questionnaire - Part 2 Please fill out this questionnaire. 7 minutes Questionnaire link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=756132568151

  35. Thoughts, Questions, or Comments? • Additional thoughts on RSS? • Additional thoughts on the Email Subscription Service?

  36. Next Meeting Dates • Next meetings: Tuesday October 17 & Wednesday October 18 • Information sessions on testing RSS & Email Subscription Services • Question and Answer sessions • Answer questions on the procedures and technical issues with using the Subscription Services • Strictly optional