Gathan Beaga

safari rss

If you read lots of different blogs, it can be a bit of a pain getting around them all without spending hours at it.

Fortunately this problem has been anticipated by lots of clever people, and there are many solutions, mostly centreing about the use of a technology called RSS.

Most blogs, and many other sites, have what’s known as an RSS feed (you might also see “Atom” being used – slightly different flavour of the same thing). This is a specially formatted text file containing recent postings; or recent headlines; or other regularly changing data.

Using a program called an “RSS Reader”, it’s possible to read these feeds. Well, “so what!”, you say.

Get this: most RSS readers have the ability to scan for changes to the RSS feeds on sites of interest. So for me, I can click a button and have my RSS reader check all my regular blog reads (about 70 or 80, including many news sites as well) at once for new postings. Further, if I want to I can get it to do this every 30 minutes or so, so that I’ll quickly spot any new posting.

On my Windows machine at work I use the wonderful Sage Feed Reader plugin to Mozilla Firefox. And on the Mac, I’ve started to use the new version of Apple’s own web browser, Safari.

Safari takes this one step further. At the moment I have all 22 Wellington weblogs I read in the one “wgtn” folder in the Bookmarks bar (like IE’s favourites bar). By Command-clicking on this I can see every posting on every blog displayed in date order on a single webpage.

Very very smart. A massive timesaver, and cool as, to boot.