Tips for Blog Readers

A Newsreader allows you to read your favourite sites all in one place. It’s way faster than collecting a million bookmarks and clicking though them all. The most popular service out there is Bloglines, I use it all the time.

Most blogs provide a ‘feed’ that can be aggregated by newsreader programs. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a feed format, that simplifies the HTML on a page and (mainly) just serves the headings and text from each article. So your browser doesn’t waste time loading heaps of complicated HTML and images.

Bloglines is particularly handy because it keeps track of what you have already read and only presents unread articles to you. It also includes handy features such as clipping interesting articles you want to hang on to, and an ‘easy subscribe‘ function to add a site to your collection. You can even list your bloglines subscriptions as a blogroll, like the list to the right.

Even if a website doesn’t have a newsfeed (also termed ‘syndication, RSS, XML, Atom’…) you can create one using a Scraper tool. My favourite used to be RSSxl, but it seems to be offline :(. Instead I am now using FeedFire, which is much the same, but less customisable (unless you pay $$$). Tech author Robin Good’s site references more scrapers such as RapidFeeds, Grouper, Script4RSS, myrsscreator.com, — which I have not tried yet.

I hope this makes your browsing faster and more informative!

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