So today is the day that Internet Explorer (IE) 7 is supposedly going to be released to the world. I have to say I have returned to my IE roots, leaving FireFox, since first installing IE7 betas.
Yet, it seems I am using a web browser (directly) less and less as most of my time reading information on the web is through my Feed aggregator client. I am using the Feed Demon reader, which synchronizes with my account on NewsGator, which seems quite optimal.
I used to spend allot of time going to my “favorite” sites looking to see if something new had been posted, only to find no new content. I think this is a sustainable approach if you are only checking 1 to 5 sites that interest you, but to keep tabs on hundreds it would be impossible and not very efficient.
So how do RSS Feeds solve this problem? Well now I just subscribe to a sites RSS feed, and as new content is published it shows up as a new item in my feed aggregator. So this allows me to monitor over 500 sites, and only really check them when I have new content to read.
The beauty of the Feed Demon client and the NewsGator backend is that I can setup different locations with different feeds. If I read a news item at one location (My Office), when I return to my home in the evening I don’t see the items I already have read. This cuts down on duplicates, and streamlines my time I spend reading new information. I can also group like feeds by category so I can keep similar news items together for reading.
I’m not trying to turn this into a commercial for FeedDemon, but I really do like the tool. It allows me to download my feeds, and read them offline, which is a godsend if you have to do allot of traveling. I suppose it’s like turning the web into an old school Email client for this purpose.
I originally used the feed aggregator on Live.com, but the lack of client connectivity, and synchronization left allot to be desired. The Google Reader is also a nice idea, but really felt it to be a limiting interface as well for the same reasons. The new IE7 has a great Feed respository which does intergrate nicely into Windows Live Mail desktop for reading. If someone had only a single computer, I would say this is an easy and efficient way to go.
So now I find myself spending time on the web reading feeds, and really only opening my browser for more interactive sites like my banking site, or checking the weather. I am surprised more and more people are not keen on RSS feeds when I talk to them, because I think once you start organizing your itnerests, it’s much easier and richer to enjoy them.