One of the things I used to write about at the last place was RSS. I think it’s an amazing technology. Applied correctly, it can connect you to the things that are important to you in your life, with much less effort than you’re used to spending.
I’ll make this perfectly clear: if you follow more than three websites, like can’t-miss-it must-read websites, you’re wasting an enormous amount of time by not using an RSS reader.
I was an early adopter of a lot of that technology. I’m not sure exactly when I was a Bloglines user, but I became a Google Reader fan pretty immediately after that opened up. (I got so excited about podcasting, one of the most inspiring applications for RSS, that I started a podcast in 2005.) I’ve had my ups and downs with RSS and feeds generally, but I’ve been a pretty steadfast user of Reeder over the past three-or-so years.
Soon, they’ll be shuttering Google Reader. I’m not exactly sure about the reasons, but I imagine the platform doesn’t perform well across paid-search metrics, so it’ll stop working. Any app (like Reeder) that has been tightly coupled to the platform will need to be refactored to deal with different providers.
For my part, now that I’m self-publishing again, I’m trying to embrace the “stream of news” and seeing what comes out of it. For that, I’m really enjoying Feedly. It’s available as a mobile app and, while there isn’t a web interface, per se, it works as a browser extension. I’m using it with Safari and Chrome, and I’m really impressed.