August 27, 2006
RSS Has Changed My Life
I had on my list of topics to write about, "How RSS ha changed my life." I was going to hold off on that entry but then York commented about Which Search Blogs Am I Most Likely To Read In More Detail?
You see, I have a list of 75 plus blogs I read. York said,
How do you read all those blog? I mean even if you speed 5 minute per blog, you will have to spend 6 hours per day for all these reading.
And 5 minutes is not even long enough for you to type the url and talk a good peek at the details of those blog.
If I spent 6 hours per day reading those blogs, how would I be able to do anything else?
RSS is the answer. I use Bloglines to manage my RSS feeds. I subscribe to blogs/news sites/searches that I am interested and I set it to only show me content that I have not read yet. So if I have read yesterday's blog post from Diamond Vues, Bloglines knows it, and it won't show me the feed if the site hasn't been update since then, it also won't show me anything I have read in the past, unless that post is updated with new content. So I do not read 75+ blogs each day, far from it.
But even if I did, the way Bloglines and most RSS readers display the content makes it easy to skim new content within a matter of seconds. Here is a screen capture of Bloglines at this moment in time for me.
Now, on the left hand side, it shows only feeds (news/blogs/searches) that have been updates or not read since I last viewed my Bloglines. It also shows a number by each folder (I categorize my feeds in several folders, some you can see and some are not displayed because they have nothing new in them at this time), and it shows a number by each source.
For example, the "Barry RSSes" folder has 28 items of new items I have not yet read or that have been updates that contain searches I set up for my name or similar names. Also, you can see I clicked on the Slashdot feed, it is now unbolded and has no number on the left side, but it does show I am viewing 3 items, 3 items that are new and I have no seen yet. Next time I go back to Bloglines, it will not show me those same three items for Slashdot.
So in reality, I do not read 75+ blogs each day. I do track 75+ sources (much more that 75) each day, but Bloglines and RSS helps me with that.
Then I can simply scan the updates feeds and decide wether I want to click deeper into the feed. I rarely do, so that is why I came up with my Which Search Blogs Am I Most Likely To Read In More Detail? list. If I click through, then it must have a great title and short description.
So that is how I manage to stay on top of things without those things staying on top of me. RSS is an invaluable tool for me. It has, without a doubt, changed my life.