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The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).
LEGACY

The Terror of Feed Readers

[Anton][1]
What RSS reader do you use? I'm looking for one as an alternative to bloglines.
Bryan
Heh. I don't have one. :)
Anton
really? wow. what do you use? bloglines?
Bryan
Nope. Nothing.
Anton
you just don't read feeds?
Bryan
Nope. Once I got my new PowerBook, I never downloaded a feed reader.
Anton
oh. wow! okay.
Bryan
Heh. I waste too much time as it is.
Anton
lol. I hear you there. but no rss? freaky!

Now don't kill me.

I really debated on posting this one because first of all, it's true, and secondly, I've already gotten yelled at. I can just feel the scopes of sniper rifles on me right now. I was never always like this though, as you probably noticed from above. There was a time where I did have my trusty "really simple syndication" feed reader application, NetNewsWire. And you know what? It had 250 feeds. But that wasn't the problem, I was adding feeds just to see if they'd come up with anything interesting. That, and they took way too much time out of my work day on top of the email whoring that I do daily.

As also explained above when I traded in my 15" PowerBook for the higher-resolution version, I had a clean slate to start with. So while installing programs, I debated on whether or not I should have downloaded a feed reader. It was a chance to try a new program (for instance, NewsFire) or to totally abandon it. I chose the latter, because I wanted to see what the effect would be. Needless to say, I freed up a good hour (more or less) each day to focus on other things. What this also did was solidify the positions of my favorite blogs. No longer did I just hold down the space button to pass by blogs I would never read otherwise. Frankly, if I went to your blog, then you made enough of an impact on me for my memory to retain and remind me to revisit it.

I'm a very absent minded person, and as many absent minded people do, I really only do what's in front of me. If my WordPress write dialog is up, then I'll write a post. If Photoshop is active, I'll design. The same went for that little icon that showed the number of unread feeds. I always wanted that number to be zero. By taking that out of the picture, I would only focus on making sure my mail was always read.

Now, that's not the end of the story for me. With recent events, the blogs of many more people have become etched in my mind, so much so that I even forget to revisit the blogs that I really mean to see. So I've learned that I can't completely depend on my memory. But rather instead of using an RSS reader to become my memory, it will facilitate it. No, this won't mean I'll have "blogs I read" and "blogs I might read". It will just have a carbon copy of what surfing paths I'd usually take along with the paths I mean to but forget to take.

That's what I think feed readers should do. Facilitate, not dictate. And that really goes for anything that starts to replace a daily function.

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Avalonstar is the 19-year-old personal website of Bryan Veloso: content creator, retired professional user interface designer, and compass of purpose.
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