Reading feeds

Reading time: 2 mins

Lockergnome’s RSS Resource is chock full of information. So much so that I’ve not really taken much time to get to grips with both the site, and RSS in general. Yes I have an XML feed but as a Blogger Pro user, that’s really just a few clicks and and a filename to handle.

If you are like me, a bit bemused by all this, I urge you to Get a grip on Rss in 3 easy steps! (does exactly what it says on the tin).

However if you ARE like me, you’ll end up visiting the websites themselves most of the time anyway. You see, I’ve tried using RSS feeds for sites on my blogroll, but it’s a very…. I dunno… dry experience. For me, reading personal sites is an encompassing experience where the content is as important as the design. I know that holds true for news sites, shopping sites etc, but only if you are browsing through them. All I really want from a news site is news. RSS is an excellent solution for that.

The other downside to RSS is that a lot of feeds aren’t ‘full’. That is, they give you a summary of the posting, the first three lines or so.. again this may be useful for news sites where you can use that information to decide whether or not to read on. For most personal sites the first three lines may be an indication of the posting but frequently the core message doesn’t arrive until later. Take, for example, this very posting where the first three lines are:

“Lockergnome’s RSS Resource is chock full of information. So much so that I’ve not really taken much time to get to grips with both the site, and RSS in general. Yes I have an XML feed but as a Blogger Pro user, that’s really just a few clicks and and a filename to handle.”

From that you can gather that I will be posting about RSS but that’s about the limit of it’s usefulness. (Although the ‘usefulness’ of a lot of posting on personal sites is probably questionable, mine included).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking RSS and I do believe that it will become increasingly useful, but it I believe we are still missing that killer RSS application. Think of the way Blogger transformed personal publishing, or the way Google grabbed the search engine crown. We are still waiting for the RSS application will make that leap, forcing RSS out into the wild. Until then RSS will remain useful, but limited to the hands of the technorati.