Prior to 2004, I had a routine for most mornings when I arrived at work. I'd sit down, open up my e-mail, glance at what had come in over night, and then quickly browse through the websites that I got my news from. Larger sites like CNN.com always had new information, but often the smaller sites were updated irregularly. Checking these sites daily was a waste of time, but if I didn't check regularly, I'd forget and miss out on some of the best information and resources.
But somewhere around 2004, I was introduced to Sage, a feed reader that integrates with Mozilla Firefox. It let me bookmark a website's feed, and no longer did I have to go to each individual site. With the click of a couple of buttons, I knew which sites had new content and which didn't. My whole routine changed for the better. I was able to scan content and identify what I wanted to read more quickly. I was also able to add more sites to my list and keep up with content from a wider variety of sources.
At some point in 2008, after some urging by Matthew and participating in an LSNTAP training about feed readers and RSS, I switched over to Google Reader, which has a few more features than Sage and helps me manage my growing list of bookmarked feeds better.
Who else out there uses a feed reader? What made you start?
For those of you who don't use a feed reader, what's stopping you? If it's that
- you don't understand the lingo, check out Huh? RSS? What?, a previous Technola post.
- you don't see why it would be helpful, check out Using RSS Tools to Feed Your Information Needs and More RSS: Using Google Reader for Research and Sharing, both from Idealware.
- you don't know how to set up a feed reader, check out LSNTAP's RSS Walkthrough.
- you don't know what to subscribe to, download and import this file, which includes some of Technola's favorite feeds, into your feed reader. (Hint: Right click and choose Save Link As.) Google has instructions on importing OPML files into Google Reader, and more information about OPML files is available from Idealware.
- you are afraid that you'll get overwhelmed? Remember--you don't have to read it all. - K