Pondering feed readers

Do people use feed readers anymore? It seems odd to me that this never quite caught on in a big way amongst people I know. I use a feed reader and I know my wife does, but other than web geeks, I’m not sure many other folks do. Maybe it’s not simple enough? How do people keep up with blogs and other regularly updated content, though, without one?

Feed Reader Categories
My feed reader categories for various syndicated content

I know there are some sites – Boing Boing, Jezebel/Gawker/io9, and others where I don’t bother with a feed; usually because their content is updated too frequently to keep up and I know that I don’t want to see every post because their content is in the range of ‘skimmable’ and not ‘deep research’.

And then there are some sites that don’t publish their full posts to their syndication feed — I purge them from my feed reader immediately for that reason. If they’re pretty good they’ll get a bookmark, but they’re usually on probation for being traffic whores.

I should probably investigate people’s use of syndication feeds; it seems like I read that this was on the decline somewhere, but I don’t recall the link. I know that Twitter and Facebook have buried their RSS feeds. I can still usually construct a Twitter one based on the ones I had in my reader before they hid them, though. Facebook has pretty much wiped theirs out.

2022-03-12 Update: Twitter and Facebook obviously killed their RSS feeds because they needed their algorithms to filter you news for maximum effect on your psyche. And we all got hooked into social media and stopped blogging altogether. This is such an interesting post in hindsight.
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RSS Feeds for Online Stores

Here’s one of my favorite applications for RSS feeds… Online stores that use them to present new products in their online catalogs. For huge stores this isn’t very practical, but for specialty stores, it can be a lot of fun, especially if the store also has wishlist capability, like Think Geek does.
Archie McPhee: http://www.mcphee.com/mcpheeproductfeed.xml
Think Geek: http://www.thinkgeek.com/thinkgeek.rss
Threadless T-Shirts: http://threadless.com/rss/weekly
(Website: http://threadless.com)
Mule Design: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheFeedStore
Oddica: http://www.oddica.com/catalog/rssfeed.xml
There are a couple of product review blogs that basically do the same type of thing, that I also keep in my shopping RSS reading list, like these:
Mighty Goods: http://www.mightygoods.com/atom.xml
Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools: http://www.kk.org/cooltools/index.xml
Mad Professor: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MadProfessor
And then there are the online shops I WISH had a feed, but they don’t:
Knock Knock: http://www.knockknock.biz/
16 Sparrows: http://www.16sparrows.com/
Hats In the Belfry: http://www.hatsinthebelfry.com/
And speaking of sites in general that really need to have RSS feeds —
IndianapolisMusic.net Events Calendar: http://www.indianapolismusic.net/events_day.php

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Fun RSS Thing to Do

If you read your news in an RSS reader, here’s something fun and informative that you can do…
Go to Google News, and to a search on the term “gay.” Look in the left column of the page and grab either the RSS link or Atom link, and add it to your news reader.
Then do the same thing for the search term “lesbian.”
Now do the same thing for the term “homosexual.”
Then read the news for each of the feeds. You’ll find that on the first two terms, you’ll find GLBT news from a mainstream perspective. And on the third term, you’ll get news through the filter of right-wing nuttiness, bigotry and hate. Fun, huh? God Bless them frothing-mouthed homophobes.

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The Commonplacebook.com Morning Gazette

Here are many of the fine sites I read regularly.

Continue ReadingThe Commonplacebook.com Morning Gazette