Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This little trick is probably old hat to many of you, but don't you ever wonder how some of your friends seem to know so much current information? They say they get it from blogs, but when you try to read more three a week, it seems overwhelming. That's where the secret comes in--they don't go to any blogs. Instead, they subscribe to them using a nifty piece of web software called an aggregator [wiki].

Boring part you can skip unless you want to learn how this works:
Many websites and practically all blogs create a separate version of themselves called a feed (when you see XML or RSS or ATOM, those are types of feeds--mine is here). This feed actually notifies the internet (kindof) anytime the blog changes. Whenever you open the aggregator, it loads anything that has changed since the last time you looked, and it organizes everything so you can quickly scan what for what seems worth reading today.

OK, what you need:
Some new web browsers incorporate features like this, but if you want to keep up with more than a handful of sites, nothing beats software like Bloglines. You tell it what sites to watch, and it does the rest. You just log in whenever you have some time to read.


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