Friday, March 02, 2007

Feed Me

I've been a sort of half-assed, casual user of feeds for something like a year now. My Goggle home page is set up to receive feeds from some of my favorite blog and news sources, as well as a few pass-time items like word of the day and quote of the day, but the interface is clunky and limited at best. As far as browser home pages go its a knock out, but a true RSS reader, it is not.

I've just tonight made the rather simple leap to a full fledged reader, the stunningly simple and elegant Vienna RSS Reader, and the difference is everything. Now I can keep up on the latest news, technology, Mac buzz, recipe ideas, and yes even words and quotes of the day without the need to open my web browser; without even the need to go looking. Any feeds I've subscribed to arrive in my reader the moment they're available online, organized and ready for me to read/view right there on the spot. Along with the text you'd see on the web page if you were using your browser, embedded photos and even videos come through in tact and in place. I don't know why I didn't do this before.

An easy way to peg a website that uses feeds is that you'll see a little orange coloured square icon in the far right of your browser's address bar with a white little dot and two curved lines in it (looks like a little frequency pulse of some kind). That signifies the page is set up to offer a feed - any time that page updates with new content, a feed will be sent out to anyone subscribing to it with the updated content for them to view. offers an RSS feed, as indicated by the icon in the browser's addres bar. Clicking on it would give you a choice of how you'd like to subscribe.

If this icon isn't present, its unlikely a feed is available. Sites like Macsurfer's Headline News and Facebook, sadly, do not offer feed services. The former is the greatest daily culminating effort of Mac related news the internet has ever known, and the latter is a social networking site where the activities of friends are constantly offered as updates on your social home page. Both would be ideal providers of RSS feeds, but alas neither does.

The coolest thing about an RSS Reader? You could even subscribe to this blog.

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