18 March 2006 - Saturday

Feed reading

I confess myself a great admirer of RSS. To keep up with as many blogs and other news sources as I do, a feed aggregator is a virtual necessity. Gone are the days when I could open up each site in my blogroll to see whether anyone had updated; to do the same thing today would take too long. Instead, I let the updates come to me.

I use a Web-based reader rather than downloaded software. The advantage of keeping it all online is that I can check my feeds from anywhere. I don't have to be at my own computer.

Specifically, I use Google Reader to view my feeds because it displays posts in one continuous queue. I cannot easily skip things; I have to read posts in the order in which they come in. (If Cliopatria has a post at 11:00 a.m. and my friend Wheeler has a post at 10:58, GR displays the one entry right after the other.) Back when I used Bloglines and Thunderbird's built-in reader, by contrast, my feeds were broken up by source, so I could skip reading entire sites if I didn't have much time. That biased my reading habits; I wouldn't look at some blogs for weeks, especially as my list of feeds got longer.

Today, I monitor 194 sites with Google Reader, and I add to that list frequently. Unfortunately, I have almost stopped adding new blogs to this site's sidebar. I just add their RSS feeds to my reader instead. That means that I get swamped with information (a problem I love having) but my visitors don't get to see all of my wonderful finds. I am going to try to fix this problem over the next few weeks.

| Posted by Wilson at 18:42 Central | TrackBack
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