Wednesday, September 02, 2009

RSS and me
Started trying to get my Internet addiction under control through the use of some judicious tools. Primary was the idea that I should be using RSS more to surf more efficiently.

For those who know what RSS is skip this paragraph. Well you donít really have to, but you can. Iím going to go with the analogy of TV Guide for RSS. See in the old days you used to be able to buy this tiny little digest (on slightly better than average newsprint) that had a list of all the TV shows in your area.This was before the days of 500 channels of cable/satellite/Internet downloads with nothing on. RSS is similar in that it is supposed to be a small text file that tells you about the latest stories on the site. The best thing about the format is that it can contain anything -- a short summary of the story, the headline, or the whole story itself. That is up to the web site operator. That is the beauty of RSS. In most cases right now you can use RSS to find out whatís happening on your favorite site right now, without actually going to the site. Why do that? Loading the full web page takes a lot of resources on both sides of the equation and RSS cuts down on the number of resources used. Especially for Blogs that have a lot of content published over a day. The RSS file helps keep resources needed lower.

I have tried to use a couple of different RSS readers in the past but never got to a place that made it feel more useful than just opening a bunch of webpages in a browser.

Iíve tried the Firefox Smart Bookmarks which you can access quickly via the bookmark menu and still have the BBC Headlines loaded on my bar, but it only ever contains the headline, not anything about the story. This is not useful in my opinion. Iíve also tried using Sage, but never felt that using the sidebar was an effective way of looking at what I wanted to see.

Next Time: Times, Google Reader and Evenbox

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