I visit several blogs, news sites, sports sites, comic sites, linux sites and webcomics every day, so you’d think I’ve been using RSS feeds since they became available. The techniques has been invented for people like me, who visit many sites which update regularly.
Unfortunately, I’m a bit stubborn when it comes to forming new habits, so I regularly had over 20 tabs open, refreshing pages in search for the next new article…which is, admittedly, stupid.
To be fair, I wasn’t even sure how RSS feeds worked, exactly. “Some kind of Live Bookmarks” was the best I could come up with, without actually knowing what I said. Then I saw this screenshot and started thinking about what I was seeing: all your favourite sites in one handy window, telling you when sites have been updated with new content.It’s brilliant!
Of course, since I’m using Linux, there were about a gazillion options of rss readers to use. A search on the Arch Linux forums left me bewildered because of all the possibilities, from sparse console based readers to Firefox add-ons to standalone GUI readers to web-based possibilities to email-clients, and even a service for your Jabber chat client. I was spoilt for choice. If you want a really extensive list of feed aggregators, just check the Wikipedia page.
In the end, I decided that I didn’t want to install a seperate application. I want to check my favourite sites both at work and at home, so that left only web-based readers. Since I already use gmail, using Google Reader was just a small step. It could user some more configuration options, especially when it comes to layout and theme, but in the end it does everything it’s supposed to do.
The only problem that’s left is trying to keep up with all the new articles. I never knew those websites updated so often! Lucky for me I don’t Twitter, or listen to podcasts.