threads on a loom

How do you read all that stuff?

I’m often asked by friends, family and colleagues how I keep track of all the different sorts of things I’m interested in online.

In the past, good bookmarks, aided by social bookmarking like or ma.gnolia were useful to find places… but how to get through all of the content.

Drinking from the firehose

There’s so much good content on the internet that trying to consume all of it is impossible. You can take a sip or two as the river passes by, but how do you get the good bits? There are all sorts of ways to identify them – which will be meat for *another* post – but the key issue is how to get them in front of you.

The best way I have found is using RSS – an initialism which stands for a range of thing – let’s go with Really Simple Syndication.

At its simplest, it’s a way of a site pushing its latest content out in a format that can be captured by an RSS Reader; there are loads of them about.

Lee LeFever has a wonderful explanation of RSS shown here…

What other sort of feeds are there?

I use RSS to track the results of searches – I use to search twitter – where I am @steveellwood – and the feed ( will produce any mention of me – so I can see if I’ve missed any replies…

I use RSS to track news, blogs, and twitter – you can see some of the things that interest me below… in Sharing Your Reading

RSS Readers

One client I use at work is FeedReader which lets me pick up information about corporate news and activity within my Professional Community. It’s straightforward to use, and if there are private feeds – that can’t be seen outside your corporate network – it’s ideal.

Usually though as I move between a variety of PCs – my home desktop, my work laptop, and my lovely eee PC, I prefer an online reader.

There’s a variety of these, too including NewsGator products, Google Reader and my favourite, NetVibes.

Sharing your reading…

These online readers have the additional benefit that you can share what you think other people might be interested in – for example my public NetVibes universe, or my Google Reader shared items.

Those are my somewhat idiosyncratic choices, but the irrepressible Guy Kawasaki produced the wonderful which claims to have “all the top stories covered, all of the time”. You can get updated feeds about just about anything you want there. Sadly, I’m *not* one of the Twitterati – but I do follow some of them!

There’s even RSSmeme which allows you to search shared RSS feeds…

Will you sell RSS?

If you know people that don’t use RSS, do you tell them about it?
Are you an RSS user – and if you are, what do you read with?

Picture Credit janettowbin