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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Monday, August 16, 2004

Friends and bloggers, lend me your ears...

I may be the last person in the blogiverse to discover aggregators, but I have done so-- and boy, are they cool. One click, and I can tell who among the couple dozen people that NetNewsWire can pick up, has posted since the last time I looked. A wonderfully efficient time saver.

The fly in the ointment, it seems, is that not all blogs use an RSS feed; notably, those folks who use Blogger (including yours truly, and a significant portion of my blogroll) employ an Atom feed.

Now, i'm not going to get into the merits of one system over the other. Quite frankly, I'm not enough of a geek to care. What I do care about is that (a) many aggregators do not read both sorts of feeds; and (b) Blogger accounts are not accessible unless their owners specifically change their settings to allow it. This means that most aggregators will only let me read part of my blogroll, and that I still have to work my way down a big chunk of the list, piece by piece.

But there is hope for improvement. I'm told that the next generation of Safari (the browser I use) will include an aggregator that reads both sorts; and in the meantime, the current beta version of NetNewsWire (1.0.9b) is doing so quite nicely. This makes me happy. Additionally, you can click on the little orange XML at the bottom of my sidebar, which will give you an RSS feed for this blog, if your news collection program prefers that sort of diet.

Meanwhile, those of you who use Blogger can make your blog's Atom feed available very easily. Simply go to "Site Feed" under your "Settings" tab, and change the "Publish Site Feed" button to Yes. It makes no change to your function, simply allows an aggregator to pick it up.

Please go do this. Soon. It would make checking on your blog so much easier.


Blogger Dawgdays said...

No, you're not the last person.

August 16, 2004 10:41 PM  

Blogger Reverend Ref + said...

And this is important because . . . ? I'm even less of a geek than you are, so I'm having trouble understanding why this is important. I would imagine someone will try to explain it and I'll go, "Oh, okay, whatever." And life will go on as usual.

Did I mention that I miss card catalogues in the library?

August 17, 2004 3:19 PM  

Blogger Justin said...

Don't worry Rev. Ref. I am clueless, too. I just use the dropdown menu thingy at the top of my browser to check the blogs I usually check.

August 17, 2004 3:36 PM  

Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

If you use the dropdown menu, or (as I have done) click your way down the links on your blogroll, you go to one blog at a time. Some will have updated, some won't. Working your way through the list takes a bit of time, which can feel tedious if/when no one you're checking has updated anything since the last time you looked.

An aggregator checks all the links on the list I give it, all at once, and lets me know which ones have been updated since the last time I looked. Then I can check them individually, and read what's there.

Not important, but convenient. So, if you'd turn your feed on, that would be very nice. :)

August 17, 2004 6:30 PM  

Blogger Justin said...

I think mine is on. I clicked yes because it sounded important.


August 18, 2004 7:26 AM  

Blogger Don said...

Hmmm ... your blog is one of the few that I don't get at bloglines. I'm glad you are syndicating now!

August 18, 2004 11:01 AM  

Blogger Reverend Ref + said...

Just to let you know I'm not a total dweeb . . . I went and checked this thingy and found that -- SURPRISE -- I had already marked it "Yes".

Sometimes I surprise myself.

August 20, 2004 12:04 PM  

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