Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
Back in the old days, I was a voracious consumer of 'feeds' (or RSS, as we called them way back when). I followed 5-600 of these things and did a pretty good job of keeping up, reading the key ones every day and putting the dead time on a four-five hour round-trip train journey to London each week (remember, this was in the days before wi-fi on the train and 3G cards in the laptop) to work as I read through whatever backlog was left in my newsreader (NetNewsWire).
Most of the feeds I read were produced by individuals, and I made a point (partly because of the offline way in which much of the reading was done) of not subscribing to any of those annoying people who only included partial posts within the feed itself.
Then all sorts of things changed. I moved job, and lost that train journey. My priorities shifted with greater regularity, and it was too big a job to re-align all those blog feeds every time I needed to reflect a change of emphasis. Blog search tools got better. I found myself reading through the collected posts to any one blog less and less, and flitting through the results returned by searches and alerts more and more.
Now, though, I'm trying again. I'm back using NetNewsWire (now free) and I have a tight set of 30-40 content feeds, supplemented by all those same canned searches with Google Blog Search, Technorati, et al, and the alerts targetted deep into theFinancial Times,New York Times, etc.
Newsgator's (the company that now owns NetNewsWire)mobile interfaceis a powerful addition to reading behaviour; it synchronises my list of feeds with NetNewsWire, and simply displays those feeds with new content to read. It's perfect for those idle moments, and prevents the body of content growing too large between sessions sat in front of NetNewsWire itself. Thenew iPhone applicationlooks like it will improve this still further when it's released next month.
As for the feeds themselves? Far more of them are those annoying ones that only deliver the first part of the post. Roll on 11 July and a 3G iPhone to make that particular annoyance a little less disruptive to workflow.