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Comments on: RSS frenzy

Comments on MetaFilter post RSS frenzy

Published: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:48:17 -0800

Last Build Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:48:17 -0800


RSS frenzy

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:36:28 -0800

Bot-a-blog emails up to 25 blogs (RSS) updates to you, gregarius lets you roll your own homepage to keep track of all the RSS feeds you read, sharpreader works on windows thinfeeder does it with java. How do you take your RSS, with one or two sugars?

By: scottq

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:48:17 -0800

Bloglines has been my favorite for a while, now...

By: homodigitalis

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:57:09 -0800

Via a plugin in Trillian. I hate running an extra program just for feeds ...

By: stopgap

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:58:53 -0800

Maybe I'm just don't get it, but I haven't found RSS to be all that useful. I've used Bloglines, RSS readers, active bookmarks (or whatever FireFox calls them) and I haven't seen any real benefits or incentives to change my blog reading habits. Am I missing something?

By: monju_bosatsu

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:03:20 -0800

Am I missing something? That depends on how many sources you read. If you've got ten or twelve sites that you read regularly, you can get along just fine without a feed reader. If you try to keep up with much more than that, I think it starts to get painful. Even if you click through and actually read the content at the site itself, just the benefit of being notified when there is new content is great when you read 200 feeds.

By: odinsdream

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:06:13 -0800

stopgap, if you ever find it, send it my way. I also don't understand the hype. I've tried Thunderbird for reading metafilter, but I gave up when I realised that links jump out of the reader and open up a regular browser window. I suppose it would be somewhat nice to be notified of new postings instead of having to check the site... eh.

By: dabitch

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:21:20 -0800

I thought bot-a-blog was a nice addition, instead of hassling with creating mailinglists for a few readers who might prefer to get their update alerts that way, bot-a-blog wraps up the RSS and mails it off for you, clever. Oh, and as monju_bosatsu said, it really does depend how many you are reading, if it's less than 20 sites you check out you'll do fine with bookmarks.

By: Armitage Shanks

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:22:48 -0800

Bloglines is really impressive for a reader hosted in a browser. I use NetNewsWire on OS X. Shrook isn't as well known, but it always had some features that NNW only got with v2 (an embedded browser view) and its syncing between multiple copies is still far better than NNW. Unfortunately, I think the UI overhaul in Shrook 2 was a huge downgrade and I stopped using it because of that.

By: quonsar

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:35:29 -0800

RSS: making every site the same site so you don't have to.

By: dmd

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:41:17 -0800

I can't imagine not using RSS, myself. I'm subscribed to over a thousand feeds. Most of those feeds update once a month or less. Maybe a hundred update every couple days. Without RSS, I'd spend hours a day just going through bookmarks checking to see if there were any new changes - with it, changes come to me.

By: dabitch

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:44:21 -0800

A fellow mefite has put together all the newspapers RSS feeds here for newsjunkies, Newspapers with RSS: A List. Many many more papers than you might think are on it, reading all those makes a decent RSS reader a must. I agree that bloglines is pretty good.

By: asianmack

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:47:25 -0800

Newsfire for OS X is my reader of choice.

By: exhilaration

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:50:50 -0800

Feeds on Feeds - a PHP-based RSS aggregator that you run on your own web host is my favorite. Use it at work, use it at home, use it on the train through your mobile phone. Gregarius seems to similar and looks prettier but Feeds on Feeds makes much more efficient use of the page. It isn't flashy but it works very well.


Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:51:24 -0800

I've used RSS for 5 years now (wow, it's been that long!) and can't think of a better way to handle reading so many sites. Nowadays, I just use bloglines for feed reading. Part of the reason is that I have multiple machines from which I read my feeds and having a web-based system which offer both mobile and browser based UI makes it easier in terms of synchronizing feeds that have been read. I've found, however, that my limit in terms of feeds I can read seems to be around 300. Above that, I start to feel overwhelmed.

By: majcher

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 09:54:06 -0800

I read about a hundred feeds through Bloglines, some that update constantly, some that almost never update. Like dmd said, if I wasn't using a RSS reader, I would probably do nothing all day but click through bookmarks. There are still a few sites that I check daily that don't implement RSS for one reason or another - it's kind of a pain, but it reminds me how much time I'm saving by using an aggregator.

By: ubernostrum

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:06:01 -0800

Don't forget that RSS is also useful for purposes other than reading weblogs/news; for example, WatchCow will use RSS to keep up with Amazon price changes for any product or set of products you specify. Or you could build a feed that notifies you when an out-of-stock product becomes available. And so on and so forth; basically any time it's useful to monitor a stream of information for changes, there's an opportunity for RSS to shine. And in my experience, Bloglines is the best web-based aggregator hands-down; it's dead simple, it integrates well with browsers via JavaScript bookmarklets for subscription, and it's got a pretty good search function.

By: dmd

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:09:58 -0800

Actually, my one beef with Bloglines is that the search function almost never seems to work for me. I'll see something right in front of me, search for it, and get no results.

By: muckster

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:26:13 -0800

I read them in Firefox. You can subscribe easily while browsing and get the headlines in a drop down list from the browser bar. Opening a different app has always been one step too many.

By: yossarian1

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:37:35 -0800

Yeah muckster... I have the Sage extension for firefox which is great. RSS feeds aren't complex enought to need a whole new app for.

By: DrJohnEvans

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:38:20 -0800

I've never been big on the external-app idea. Heck, I don't use the Thunderbird aggregator, 'cause it's not a browser, and blogs are meant to be read in a browser. I love the idea of; I don't need post titles or summaries, I just need to know when you've got a new post. Problem is, not enough people ping the services that picks up on, so it's useless for a number of blogs. I've tried Sage in Firefox, but its sidebar feature has been a little too clunky. I'll have to try out Gregarius and Feeds on Feeds.

By: kindall

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:41:19 -0800

just the benefit of being notified when there is new content is great when you read 200 feeds. But there's always new content. They're blogs!

By: ubernostrum

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:50:58 -0800

dmd: I've admittedly not used the Bloglines search all that much (to be frank, I usually know at least which site I need to be looking at, and either expand the number of items to show or do a site-specific search on Google), but the few times I've turned to it it's spit back what I was looking for with a minimum of fuss. DrJohnEvans: Have you had a look at Ping-O-Matic or Both have seem to have heavier bases of "pingers" than

By: gsb

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 11:00:57 -0800

I take my RSS with two sugars -- always.

By: lodurr

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:02:00 -0800

Oy, gsb, you just about made my afternoon. Funny as hell.

By: pandaharma

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:13:17 -0800

I personally like having all of my information in one place which is being updated regularly. In my reader, a separate app with every feed neatly categorized and laid out like a newsreader, its like how tabbed browsing should be. And, in these days of sometimes elaborate CSS formatting, I have to say its actually nice to read things in the reader as just black text on a white background, stripped of most of the formatting which distinguishes one page for another. It does lead to a bit of confusion sometimes (did I read that article on Kos? or was it Atrios? Or maybe MeFi?) but I find its much easier, for some unknown reason, for absorbing the huge amount which comes in every day. RSS is also great for webart and web comics. I have several comics and art pages which will send their latest images when updated. Flickr is also great since you can set up feeds with certain keywords and get daily updates of new images matching the keyword.

By: lodurr

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:25:20 -0800

My dream app would be a combination of feed aggregator, data store, XML editor and posting tool. And in my really extreme dreams, the datastore part is on the web. I want to be able to continually take notes, that I can choose to categorize or not, and that I can easily relate to other notes in my datastore (or elsewhere). I want to be able to take one of those notes at any time and post it to my blog, or shoot a chunk of it into something else that I'm writing. What I'd really, really like to be able to do is to take some thing, like a blog entry, and export it as a data object that could be understood, more or less, by any other piece of software that I work with. E.g., take posts from my personal Drupal blog and migrate them to some other place, as a whole. The blogging APIs are insufficient to the task. It would even be fine for me if I had to match up fields on import, as I have to when importing CSVs or LDIFs into my address book. At some point, I imagine I'll have built something that's de facto what I'm looking for, but it will be hand-built, and hard to reproduce -- like a piece of custom furniture or a highly modded hot rod. It would be so nice to be able to just plug all these pieces together and more or less have them work.

By: DrJohnEvans

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 13:15:33 -0800

ubernostrum: with, you create a favourites list, which can then be displayed in a Moz/Firefox sidebar. It acts as a very simple, and very very useful, psdeudo-aggregator. Hmm... looking more closely at, it seems that you can do this there as well. But uses as one of its hourly sources, so there'd be little point. Ping-o-Matic pings as well, so if everybody used it, things'd be fine. The problem: I read a number of smaller blogs that don't ping the big services. Guess I'll just have to bug the authors individually.

By: ubernostrum

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 14:47:19 -0800

DrJohnEvans: Bugging the authors might work, but if they're not pinging they may not be able to; most weblog software I'm familiar with turns on pinging by default if the system supports it. /me not sure why anybody'd turn it off unless they were antisocial, and then they wouldn't have a blog in the first place...

By: mule

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 17:19:00 -0800

Here's where I have to bow down to the beauty of Thunderbird v1.0 with it's built in RSS reader that allows you to read all your RSS feeds in your email client. The post topic appears in the mail list and the HTML page in the preview screen. Unlike most RSS readers when you select a topic to read you actually look at the post as opposed to quonsar's dilemma "RSS: making every site the same site so you don't have to."

By: madamjujujive

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 22:01:02 -0800

I surf most of my favorite blogs the old fashioned one-site-at-a-time way, but I use Bloglines to keep track of work-related blogs and news. Much more efficient. I like the browser-based approach, I don't want any more e-mails than I already get. Thanks for that handy newspaper rss link, dabitch.

By: lodurr

Wed, 15 Dec 2004 06:27:04 -0800

I don't want any more e-mails than I already get. FWIW, that's not really how it plays out in the UI. It's shown in a way that's more analogous to the way Tbird handles Usenet -- i.e., a totally separate folder hierarchy.

By: dianep

Wed, 15 Dec 2004 07:10:40 -0800

Sage for Firefox is what I use for my RSS feeds. It's awesome.

By: mikeh

Wed, 15 Dec 2004 14:13:27 -0800

I've never been big on the external-app idea. Heck, I don't use the Thunderbird aggregator, 'cause it's not a browser, and blogs are meant to be read in a browser. This is strictly true. I don't see any reason why it has to be this way for the future, though. There are a lot of information sources that can be plugged into a rss reader -- full text news articles, message alerts, etc. Some guys at work were thinking of setting up some tasks that are currently mailing lists as rss feeds. That's kind of a hack considering what some of the rss specs are geared toward, but it's definitely useful.