If you’re not reading blogs via feeds you should be. The following people will increase their productivity level by switching to feeds:

  • People who read blogs who’s owners post infrequently (usually this causes you to stop checking daily, which causes you to check so infrequently that there actually are multiple posts by the time you make it back there.
  • People who visit blogs multiple times a day…just to see if they’ve posted something new.
  • People who bookmark blogs because they read a post or two, but forget to go back and look for new content

OK, so I think I’ve covered most of you. Maybe I’m the only blog you read and you’re in perfect lock step with me and check my blog seconds after I hit the publish button (Hi mom); you can stop reading now…for the rest of you:

First let me say, I don’t understand the difference between RSS and Atom and for all intense and purpose I think they are the same. If you disagree, feel free to jump down to the comments and tell me the difference, but this post certainly isn’t going to help you. For the rest of you, if a blog has both, just pick one, it really doesn’t matter.

You’ve got 3 choices for how to read your feeds: On-line (webbased), stand alone program, or integrated into your browser. If you use multiple computers, you’ll want to read on-line since it will keep track of what you’ve read on their server. If you’re on dial-up, it’s a tough call and it depends on how you manage your on-line time; the later two will download all your blogs at once, so that will slow your computer down, but you can download them all and then disconnect and read off-line, so that’s a great advantage.

On-line:

  • Bloglines
  • Google reader
  • My Yahoo
  • Stand alone:

  • Feed reader (Windows)
  • NetNewsWire (Mac)
  • In Browser:

  • Firefox can handle them directly, but you’re going to have to check the live bookmarks each time because I don’t think it will let you know that there are new ones and may not keep track of what you’ve read.
  • Safari (for Macs) has the same issue with alerts (although it looks like it gives you a number) and probably the same issue with keeping track of what you’ve read.
  • Sage plug-in for Firefox will do alerts
  • Wizz RSS reader for Firefox also does alerts
  • For you sad Microsoft Internet Explorer people, here’s one I found
  • Here’s a long list if none of those work for you. Please feel free to add your favorite feed reader to the comments if I’ve missed it and tell us why you like it so dang much.

    So, install a program or sign up for the web-based service. Then look for these symbols on blogs, news sites, even search engines:
    rss

    Then click on the link to get the address of the feed, or a lot of programs will allow you to drag and drop the icon right into the feed reeder, some will even search on the page for the feed for you. You’ll want to mark all the content in the new feeds as read (since you probably have and/or its old). If you’re using a non-web-based program, adjust the time interval between when it checks for new content and you’re all set to go.

    Note: I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll have more free time after switching to feeds. Actually it’s quite likely that you will fill the new found free time by reading more blogs.

    Anyway, RSS/Atom feeds work for me.

    This should not be construed as a solicitation for you to add my feed to your reader, especially in states where it is illegal and/or I’m not authorized to solicit. Even if this were an advertisement, you really shouldn’t add feeds based on advertisements but because you generally want to add feeds that are interesting, instructive and make you think, laugh and/or cry. :)

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