Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Organizing information

Dr. Havholm has asked me to give some pointers to his Digital Aesthetics class on managing RSS feeds to keep up with the blogs and stay sane. There are a few things I plan on talking about:

Safari is nice if you have OS X 10.4. It will check your feeds at a specified interval and can be set to display the newest posts first. You can also put all of your feeds in one folder then clicking on that folder will allow you to read all your feeds at once.

However, in the interest of cross-platform compatibility, Mozilla Thunderbird is probably the best option. You can set up a news account in the most recent version of Thunderbird and read your news in the same application as your e-mail. You can also export your feeds in a format that can be imported into Google Reader or other applications that understand OMPL.

Google Reader requires you to have an account with Google and allows you to tag your feeds. Once a feed is tagged you can view all feeds with a particular tag. This is also a cross-platform solution, but does not have the polish of Thunderbird or Safari.

A third option is RSSOwl which a Java application and cross-platform. It is similar to Thunderbird and feels like an e-mail application, but it is not as stable as the other options and lacks the polish of the other applications.

Finally the Feedview extension allows one to read RSS feeds in Firefox. The feel is similar to Safari, but there is no easy way to display a folder of feeds like Safari.

In my opinion the best solution is Thunderbird, but any of these can be made to do what you need to manage your RSS feeds.