Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Reading RSS

I drank some of the tech marketers coolaid the other week and gave RSS news readers a try. Particularly the new fangled google reader.

I have been reading the hype and these RSS aggregators are supposed to be all that for those of us who spend lots of time reading the web. After spending a goodly part of an evening finding and loading up a bunch of my favorite blogs and news sources into the thing I tried to make the habit of making my web rounds through the gizmo. I gave it a good try. Went there every day for almost a week. Hated it.

As for news, when all the pages are formatted the same I found I was loosing track of who I was reading. The source of a news article is a huge part of credibility these days and the gizmo removes the mastheads and styling and subtle clues about who I was reading. I couldn't intuitively associate the with the NYT or WSJ or Wash Post or some random blogger screed. It made the articles less valuable.

As for my favorite blogs, same thing. Sure the words were there but the personality was gone. No mastheads, no colorful pages, no comments links, no blogroll. Reading blogs in RSS was less like visiting someone's home and more like trying to catch a glimpse through their window. No joy.

So clicking through my bookmarks may take a little longer, may be disorganized, I may not be instantly up to speed on the latest posts. But there is more joy in it. It is more comfortable.

My experiment with RSS readers is over and I can do without them for now.