Saturday, September 06, 2008

Using a RSS Reader

blogLines is my favorite Why repeat yourself? Get bloglines How do keep track of the changes happening around you? At least the changes that are important to your business (profession, life, community, etc.)... Me? I use bloglines It has been several years, but I think my favorite protagonist and arch friend Clarke Ching introduced me to this great product. Clarke and I are like oil and water (do not mix well) for some reason, but we both have tremendous respect for the work of Dr. Eli Goldratt. He finally has adopted my favorite term: Constraints Management. For me, TOC (Theory of Constraints) has evolved. But I digress... Over the years, from time to time I have set up my browser's "home page" to point to bloglines. But like most folks, I have too many RSS feeds on my account. RSS is "Really Simple Syndication". Which in English means that when a web site changes, or someone blogs about something, or press release is issued, a "newsreader" like bloglines can notify you of the changes. No news is no news If a blog that I follow has no new posts, nothing happens. However, once a new post is made, within minutes (usually; sometimes it takes closer to an hour) I am alerted. Hence when I fire up the browser in the morning, I get the latest updates... or more accurately, the notification of an update. I get to decide whether to view the post, or save it for later. Or email it to a colleague. In this image, you can see how I am notified: bloglines feeds menu Notice that at this moment, I am following 117 feeds. Again, this is too many. I need to purge ones that never really provided the insight that I had hope. As I have mentioned, I use twitter. There is a RSS feed service that allows me to know if anyone has directly referenced me in a "tweet" (as messages are called) on twitter. The answer is no "unread" tweets. How do I know? There is no number after the item description. Balkhis has five new (actually unread) posts on his blog. See how this item is in bold, and has the "(5)" indicated after the description? Ron McDaniel's' Buzzoodle web site has four new/unread (by me) posts, plus four additional posts that I have marked to keep "active" so they can be quickly referenced by simply clicking the Buzzoodle item description. The first "(4)" in bold are unread. The next "(4)" is not bold. Bottom line: Need to know what is happening around you? Get bloglines. Once I know that you have it, and follow my postings, I can stop repeating myself! -ski P.S. There are a ton features that I have not mentioned. Plus a bunch I do not even know how to use! But I love the simple, clean interface. I use it like a dashboard to tell me at a glance when something has happened. Programmers can also set up a variety of reports and make them available via bloglines. I also use it for podcasts. It handles video too. P.P.S. Did I mention it is free? ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Cell: +1 330.432.3533 tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.
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