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RSS = Really Stinkin' Sweet!

Alright...  I'm officially hooked by the RSS bug.

Over the last month or so my online habits have drastically changed.  Why?  Firefox, that's why.  Allow me to explain my evolution with RSS.

I switched my primary web browser to Firefox months ago...  I'm not some sort of IE hater (like many of you) but after several nasty bouts with spyware, I was ready for some sort of a solution.  Enter Firefox.  At the time I began using Firefox the possible threat of being infected with malware by merely browsing was close to zero with this browser.  I became hooked on the clean interface (LOVE THE TABS) and extensions that Firefox offered.

After about a week of use, I started noticing the orange button in the bottom right corner of the browser when I hit certain sites.  Hmmm...  what's that?  *CLICK*  What's RSS?  Oh my...  my eyes were opened WIDE!  Immediately I started using Firefox to keep track of news sites and blogs that I frequented.  So it began...

Through Firefox I was able to keep track of much more information on a daily basis.  SWEET!  So what next?  I started searching for and subscribing to blogs at break neck speed.  And of course, I decided that it was high time I jumped back in to the blogosphere.  For a couple of years I kept an online journal through livejournal but as my time decreased so did my desire to "blog my day."  I began using Blogger because it was free.

As I spent more time tweaking my blog template, I decided I wanted to add a blogroll to my blog.  How?  Enter Bloglines.  Through Bloglines I began to manage all of the blogs, news sites and podcasts that I'd been previously following in Firefox.  To my amazement Bloglines did an even better job than Firefox!

At this time, I stumbled upon TypePadTypePad is a "Personal Weblogging Service."  What does that mean?  It means, they provide a web app that will build you a blog.  I decided to give them a try.  After all, they offer a free 30 day trial.  After the first couple of days messing with their tools and receiving EXCELLENT feedback from their customer service folks I decided TypePad was for me, for good.  I upgraded to a PRO account in order to have full customization access to my blog templates and more server space.

Since then I've added a custom banner to my blog, a blogroll, a flickr zeitgeist of my photos, an Amazon wishlist and current music list with thumbnails that click through to Amazon.  I can honestly say that my blog is now a decent representation of me.

Moving forward with why RSS = Really Stinkin' Sweet...

Somewhere along this process I started following Fred Wilson's blog.  Fred is a Venture Capitalist in New York.  He's also a big music fan (with great taste.)  Fred started using del.icio.us to tag (or more precisely to let others tag) music for him to listen to.  Essentially, Fred used del.icio.us to create a "New Music" podcast for himself.  How?  Each del.icio.us tag has an RSS feed that you can subscribe to...  With that power, you can be notified of when a new file is tagged for your listening pleasure.  COOL!  If you don't think this is neat, tough...  I do.

Finally, let me talk about Technorati.  Technorati is esentially a search engine for the blogosphere.  This idea in itself is cool.  BUT...  it gets better.  Not only can you search blogs, you can create search RSS feeds with Technorati.  For instance, I am in the market for a new cell phone/wireless device.  So, I created two RSS search feeds in Technorati, one for Verizon Treo 650 and one for Verizon Samsung i730.  Within 24 hours I had learned more useful information about both of those devices than I could possibly ever need...  and the information was available and waiting for me in my bloglines inbox.  I didn't have to wade through google search results, forums or user group postings.  The blogosphere did the work for me, I just had to read.

When I found that I could subscribe to my own search feeds in Technorati I thought "Wow, RSS is really stinkin' sweet."  Don't you think so?

June 23, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink


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