RSS feeds. Did I know about them? Yes. Do I use them? No. I can remember when they were first introduced and I set up a Google reader to receive them; I set up a few feeds to come in from my favourite music artist and a Japanese news site. But I found the feed dull and boring, whereas I could just visit their sites and see the news in a visually stimulating way.
But for the sake of this course I would make myself go back to my Google reader and re-investigate the potential of RSS. Perhaps I was too young when I set it up years ago. Maybe I didn’t need as much info at a glance as I might now. Maybe I’ve grown up and don’t need as much visual stimuli to keep with the daily events of my sites.
If Google has dropped out of the RSS business does that mean RSS is on the way out? Surely Google wouldn’t drop a service that is doing well…. Apparently the RSS reader business is doing fine if you look at the abundance of other readers available out there. So from the recommendation of my subject coordinator, I logged on to feedly.com to re-investigate RSS feeds.
It is easy to add feeds, either though a search of keywords or names, or from directly entering the RSS link. I can organise my site feeds by category, keeping all the library feeds together, news feeds together etc. I can also see clearly how many unread stories each site still has for me or simple click the “Mark feed as read” button to clear the number from my “to read” bundle.
Although there is a better layout than Google Reader ever had, with pictures and different font features for easier reading, it still isn’t the original site. I still enjoy visiting homepages rather than just receiving snippets of info, just as I still prefer to go to an actual bookshop rather than only getting my recommended books sent directly to my inbox form an online bookstore.
Overall feedly is a vast improvement to when I first signed up for RSS back when it first started. I could see it’s usefulness, but I don’t think I’ll end up adopting this tech tool for my personal life.