November 02, 2004

"Answer to a news junkie's prayers"

A nice addition to the growing collection of gentle introductions to the topics of webfeeds (or web feeds), from Bobbie Johnson at the Guardian:

First of all, web feeds can save you an awful lot of time. If, like any self-respecting news junkie with an internet connection, you've spent countless hours refreshing a web page waiting for latest news update, then this takes out the hard work. Now all you need to do is log on to your feed reader and it can present you the stories that have arrived since you last looked. No hanging around.

While the time-saving aspect is certainly the easiest selling point when discussing webfeeds and readers, it does create a new dilemma. Or maybe not a dilemma, perhaps more of a challenge.

Now that I have a more efficient way to track all of this information, I'm spending more time seeking and reading (and hopefully applying) the information. Part of this is due to the "referral" nature of the Web; if I'm reading a blog and they mention something posted on someone else's page that sparks my interest, I would naturally go to that site and see if it's something I should be keeping up with. But the having the reader lowers the "opt-in" bar and in most cases I'll add the feed because it's easy. As the tools improve and managing the feeds becomes even more efficient, I seek out more feeds.

Critical mass, anyone?

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