Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Start Typing...

Ok, I have no idea what I am going to blog about tonight. I'm too lazy to get up and get my little ideas book that I keep in my bag, for jotting things down that I want to write about. But I did read somewhere that with any kind of writing, if you just sit down and start, then something will flow and you'll find yourself writing something interesting. At least I hope that's what will happen!

Oh, I know what I wanted to talk about. RSS feeds. I keep getting people saying to me "I don't know why I would bother, it's just more stuff to read." Or "I can't see how I would use it, I just go to whatever I want to read." What I'm thinking is that many folks just don't "get" the usefulness of RSS feeds at all. So I'm gonna tell you how I use them and why they work really well for me.

Think of all the magazines in your local newsagent. Say there's about 500. Now you're not going to be interested in every single magazine there right? Out of that 500, maybe 20 of them are something you'd like to read. So you buy a copy of each.

Now some magazines are weekly, some are monthly, some bimonthly, some seasonal, some totally sporadic. We know that from trying to catalogue the damn things. If you want to read them regularly, you need to keep going back to the newsagent to see if there is a new issue out. OR, you can subscribe and get them delivered to your door, whenever there is a new issue. No more multiple trips to the newsagent, it just shows up ready for you to read when there is a new one.

Think of RSS feeds as being subscriptions. Of course there are millions of things out there on the internet available for you to read. But you choose the ones that interest you. Now you can either go back to those websites every day, to see if there are any new posts (or issues) and waste all that time visiting sites with no new content, OR, you can subscribe via RSS feed, and have the new posts come to you. You get notification that there is new content, and then you can go and read it.

In my case, I'm finding it a Godsend when it comes to keeping up with all the 23 Things blogs. When I tell people that I read ALL of the staff blogs, they look horrified at me. But then I explain that I do so in usually less than an hour each day. That's because a) not everyone posts every day, and b) I subscribe to them all, so that I just go to bloglines (my subscription reader of choice) and it collates all the new posts for me. Easy peasy. And trust me... there are over 240 of you who are blogging so far, so that's a lot of trips to the newsagent so to speak!

But when I'm not 23 Thing-ing, there are other blogs I subscribe to. Friends of mine are blogging, and I love to see their photos and stuff, so I subscribe to those so I don't miss anything. There are a few fun things I subscribe to, like Cake Wrecks, Cute Overload, Ugly Overload, Shorpy, PostSecret and Photoshop Disasters. Then there are the informative things that I like to keep up with. Mythbusters website, some writers blogs, some library industry stuff and some women's health things I'm involved with.

The point is, what you subscribe to is what YOU find interesting and useful. Just like the magazines you read. We're not all going to be reading New Scientist, or Women's Weekly, or Patchwork and Quilting. It's all about collating what you read and getting it to you in an easy, timely fashion.



Troll said...

Photoshop Disasters and Ugly Overload are brilliant, I'll have to add them...

tubetrain08 said...

Had a little giggle to myself when viewing these sites. We have recently done a team session on different personalities. It was good of you to provide sites to suit a range of personalities. True to form I went for the "cute overload" website. Anyway, I thought this would be a lovely site for my daughter to flick to when she's studying for exams - just to relax her a bit. Thanks once again for the great websites.