25 things week 4: RSS feeds

I realised I did this thing and then posted comments on other people’s blogposts about them without posting anything on mine….so catching up:

  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
    I only have to check one place for updates.  I use Netvibes as my feed reader and have a number of tabs for the range of feeds (blogs and other things) that I follow.   Given the number of accounts and online traces I already leave, I decided not to set up an additional bloglines account though.
    Trying to manage my time, I check each tab perhaps once a week, allowing about half an hour.  I’m finding now that most of the most interesting stuff in the feeds I’ve already seen on Twitter.
    This might be partly the power of the network (if enough people think something is interesting/important it will be repeated/mentioned a number of times) or partly because I use these both tools for a comparatively restricted range of work-related things (not that my life is comparatively restricted, you understand, just the online/public part of it).
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work or personal life?
    See above – I already use it for work extensively.  My personal life is lived mostly in the real world so not sure here…
  • Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use?
    I tend to add feeds from new websites I come across, and have an “auditions” area which I manage pro-actively – otherwise I end up adding a whole lot of feeds that seem useful at the time but actually turn out over time not to be very useful.
    Being a news junkie I actually deleted the BBC feeds I was following as I felt swamped by information… see my forthcoming post for tips & tricks for handling information overload…
  • Which Search tool was the easiest for you?
    I didn’t like either of the suggested tools particularly (!).  Maybe it was my search criteria – archives.  Neither tool brought up anything relevant in the first 3-4 pages of results.  I didn’t find either particularly intuitive.
    To be fair, I didn’t spend a lot of time investigating or playing with them (about 10 minutes each) – but I think there is a wider (totally unoriginal) point to be made: if you can’t “get” what a website or a tool is about immediately, from the interface design, the look & feel of the homepage etc, then it could do better.  My attention span has definitely shortened over the past 12 years – the time period in which I’ve been using the web daily.
    There’s a whole other post here about tagging, vocabulary and so on for another time.
  • Which was more confusing?
    Topix.net.  Syndic8 is only as good as what has been submitted to it…

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