Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RSS feeds

When I first heard about RSS feeds, I thought "why would I want to do that? I already get my lists and things in my e-mail". Then I started reading several columns on this one website. Most of them didn't publish on a daily basis, but I never could remember when each one did publish so I checked every one of them every day - talk about a waste of time! Plus, I felt the need to read the other columns around them, even if I wasn't particularly interested, just because they were there, and I might miss something interesting if I didn't read them all (I know, I know, but I'm compulsive that way). Finding out that I could subscribe to them by RSS feed has been such a time-saver. Now I only subscribe read the ones I really like - the rest I didn't subscribe to, so they are out-of-sight, out-of-mind, and Google Reader tells me when each one has a new installment, so I don't have to check each one everyday. Now I'm all about the RSS feeder!

I use Google Reader, and I'm very happy with it - mostly because I love my iGoogle and my g-mail, so it's one stop shopping. However, in the interests of learning something new, I did sign up for a bloglines account, just to compare their features. I have to admit, bloglines is pretty snazzy. They have a lot of features - your own blog right with-in the system, forums and playlists (although I'm not actually sure what the "playlists" tab is for - there didn't seem to be an explanation in the tab itself, and no reference that I found in the FAQ. I didn't ask in the Forum). The clippings feature seems to be analogous to the starring feature in Google Reader, except that they'll actually let you categorize your clippings - my current annoyance in G-Reader is that I can't seem to sort my starred items in anyway, so I usually just save things I want to keep to del.icio.us, where I can tag them. I didn't spend a lot of time playing with Bloglines, and I could probably come to love it, given enough time. However, I don't think it will trump Google Reader just because of the sheer convenience of having all my toys (more or less) in one place.