What it’s like to live in a cave

August 4, 2007

It’s cold and damp. There’s no light, really. And when you’re in this cave and you want to know if there’s new content you want to read on the internet, you have to actually type in a URL, navigate to a particular website, and look for clues that someone’s made an update. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Nevermind the occasional attack by previously-hibernating, currently-starving bear.

Without RSS, I was living in a cave. It didn’t feel like a cave, but after I realized the power of having content delivered to me instead of going looking for it, my perspective changed completely. And you thought bookmarks were a time-saver – ha! The bear I mentioned? Well for me, that’s analogous to all the new technology advances that I was missing because I didn’t have time to scour the ‘net. Inevitably, I’d miss something important that would eventually come back to bite me.

This explanation is so 2001, but here goes: RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It allows you to subscribe to web sites that enable RSS feeds. When feeds are updated, the content is delivered directly to your feed-reader. So instead of 10 (or, like me, 50+) places to check for new content, you have 1. Your feed-reader can either reside on your computer (FeedReader) or it can be web-based (Google Reader, Fastladder). I prefer web-based because it allows you to read your feeds wherever there’s internet, but there are benefits to both approaches. Specifically, Google Reader is my choice for reading both on my laptop and on my BlackBerry.

Once you’ve got your reader, the next step is get some feeds. Here are some of my favorite at the moment:

So get started already. If your favorite sites don’t offer RSS, drop ’em a line and ask them to. Hopefully, you won’t have to explain it to them, but if you do, you can always make the point that the more convenient it is to read their content, the larger their audience. I’ll explain why they may be reluctant in an upcoming post. . .


One Response to “What it’s like to live in a cave”

  1. Josh Says:

    Nice. Guess who’s the #1 subscription for my brand-new Google Reader? Well…actually it’s greenplastic.com, the definitive source for Radiohead news. A close second is MSvT!

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