It took me a bit longer than most, but I finally started using an actual feed reader for my blogsurfing activities. Up until a few months ago, I’d just been reading blogs through my list on blo.gs. However, my list of regular reads had grown since I started using the service, and I realized I was missing posts. blo.gs lists things in order of which one most recently had a new post. So, blogs that don’t update too often get pushed off the top by sites like Boing Boing that update 30 squillion times per day.
So I started using Bloglines, reading the feeds instead of clicking over to each blog in a new tab. Much faster, much harder to miss stuff you don’t want to since it tracks which posts you’ve seen.
Anyway, what I look for in a feed reader is how well it enables speed skimming: I’m going to ignore 70-90% of what I see in feeds, so I don’t want an aggregator which helps me carefully and methodically pick my way across the headlines.
I realize this is exactly why I like bloglines for reading the big blogs .. blogs with a high post count, but where I only care about a fraction of those posts. I scroll’n’scan through a day’s worth of posts, middle-clicking on anything that catches my eye.
The other feedreading method I’ve been trying lately involves rss2email and the IMAP account on my server at home. Posts get converted to individual emails which I can then read from Thunderbird on any of the computers I use. I lose the scannability factor, but it works great for the blogs where I normally read every post. ( sidenote: I picked rss2email because there it had a Debian package – “apt-get install rss2email” .. lazy me 🙂 )
Since I got around to using feeds, I was finally motivated to make my own feeds useful. I added one from Feedburner that mixes in my del.icio.us links and Flickr photos along with the regular blog posts.
woo. And according to the “Analyze” tab on Feedburner I am currently my only subscriber 😉