Thursday, April 23, 2009

RSS Mayhem

Word Collage Made with Wordle
Its been a long week and its only Wednesday! Sorry for the lack of post Monday. I have barely made it to my computer since sunday due varying factors. I checked my RSS this afternoon and its getting out of control! 1000+ things for me to read! Which prompted me to write a piece about RSS Readers and Feeds.

I have over 100 feeds in my RSS Reader. Thats 100 Websites feeding me News, Blogs, Gorgeous Photos, Fashion Tips, design news, pretty naked people and webcomics. This is a screenshot of my RSS Reader currently. Note the crazy amount of things I read/am interested in/keep meaning to read.
RSS Screenshot - Click to Enlarge

Before I discovered RSS I used bookmarks to keep track of all the sites I was interested in and then would have to check them one by one everyday.. however this got seriously impractical over time as I had dozens of websites and some that updated Multiple times a day everyday. I was continually forgetting what I had checked and who updated when.

Now that I have set up my RSS Reader I dont have to worry about forgetting to check a website when I can just check one place and know exactly whats updated. I love opening my RSS Reader in the morning and seeing all the content that was created while I was sleeping. Some of websites syndicate the whole post/article/comic others just include a link. Personally I prefer reading everything in my reader and then if I want to comment I'll take the time to go to the site however I understand why people just include a link. When Website traffic is your income you need people to come to you rather than seeing your content from a distance.

I use Google for the simple fact of being able to access it anywhere anytime which simply my google log in allowing me to share and show friends what im reading/obsessing over currently however there are alot of other choices out there. Since I havent used anything other than Google Reader I cant comment on how good/bad the other choices are but Life Hacker has an article about the Best RSS Newreaders as voted by their readers. [Link]

To start recieving feeds you need to add them to you reader. Many websites have an inbuilt RSS Feed Link like the one underneath my twitter feed currently, Firefox has a nifty feature where if you go to bookmarks you can select Subscribe in reader and then add it to you reader of choice.

The great thing about RSS is that everything is one place, you can pick and choose what to read and where to go. Its an easy way to organise everything you read. It can get overwhelming when you have over 1000+ things to read. If after a few weeks you realise your not reading that blog or that website, or the fact that they update 30 times a day makes you want to scream unsubscribe, go back to just browsing the website as you did before. This will cut down on the amount of feeds that sit unread for days accusing you from their folders:P Google Reader has in built stats reports showing what you do and dont read to help you prune your RSS when it gets out of hand (Note to self: Prune RSS!)

I have quite a few Different catorgories and I am currently creating even more prescise labels to make my reading easier. Some of my catorgories include Design, Fashion, Personal Blogs, A Day, News and Pretty naked people. I will be writing a post on how to best organise your RSS Reader in the next week since I realised it an entire post on its own while writing this one so keep an eye out for that :)

What are you favourite RSS Reader? Do you use one? How have you found it changes your web browsing habits?
For more informtation on RSS head over the Wikipedia [Link]

Love and Obsessions

Miss Addict

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