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Sunday, August 6th, 2006, 6:56 am

RSS Alternatives and Feeds Overload

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FEEDS have improved the lives of everyone who wishes to be ‘on top of things’. But what tools should ideally be used? For syndication, I continue to use RSSOwl, as opposed to more bloated alternatives such as recent versions of Mozilla Thunderbird. I partly helped in the testing of RSSOwl (as a gensture of reciprocity), so I still feel as though I must ‘eat my own dog food’. And yet — recently had to check some other feed readers that are Web-based (or a carefully-crafted script that outputs (X)HTML). I was interested in better tools whose development is more active. The same applies to newsgroup readers. Some describe themselves as ‘application whores’ in such contexts.

Over the years I developed this banal habit of reading feeds. At present, I read the news three times a day (i.e. three passes), but other feeds — those which I once followed closely — I only go past or glance at about twice a week. Desire has been lost for full RSS coverage. Mailing lists and newsgroups likewise. Often I just quickly look through the titles/subject lines. It’s probably due to excessive subscription and burdensome load that I can no longer cope with. But there is no sense of obligation anymore. I suppose many people reach the state of feed overload, which is closely-related (if not an alias for) ‘information overload’. Such overloads take over innocent cyberspacers.

Side-anecdote: In hindsight, the last sentence if a bit of an overstatements or maybe a gross generalisation (projecting one’s problems onto others). But this generalisation is probably a benign one that acts merely as a warning sign. Unlike, for instance, calling someone a murder for taking antibiotics and killing germs…

2 Responses to “RSS Alternatives and Feeds Overload”

  1. Justin Says:

    Thanks for those posts on news aggregators. I was on a hunt for some good aggregators, and was disappointed by the many i came across the Internet. I also took the book ‘RSS and atom programming” from the library , but could not find a nice looking yet feature rich aggregator.

    I really liked RSSOwl

    Thanks for that post. Please do post about great softwares when you came across them.I bet it will be a great help to all those 1000s of people who visit your blog regularly.

    Thanks again,
    with regards

    (BTW – i still see a lot of crap postings against you in C.O.L.A and i wanted to give them some apt reply, but i felt that would only aggrevate the situation.So i am keeping quite – but i dont know how much people like me who follow your wonderful posts regularly can tolerate comments against you)

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    Thanks for the kind works, Justin.

    Thousands of readers??? I wish. *smile* But I sometimes think of these posts as notes to self — ones that I can refer to in the future. Because rarely do I get a reply, so thanks for making the exception.

    I no longer let COLA attacks get under my skin. The posts are on topic and they make COLA more pleasant (for many of us, at least) than it was a year ago. It also cleans up the FUD and bad publicity for GNU/Linux, I believe. Sock puppets were used to saturate search engine indices with disinformation (e.g. “Linux burned my house”).

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