Runs Smoothly Sometimes

I like to keep up with a number of blogs. Generally, I check several times a day whether there are any updates because of the time differences between the UK and the US.

I soon discovered that it was better to use an RSS reader rather than visiting each individual blog on the off-chance that it had been updated. My first attempt was using the RSS feed function in Firefox. This is pretty basic. For one thing is doesn’t tell you when there are new items and doesn’t mark them in any way (there’s no unread/read switch) and in some cases at least, shows posts in the wrong order.

My next attempt was using the RSS feed function in Opera. This is better. If new posts come in, it puts up a flag advising you and new items are marked by putting the title in bold lettering. So far, it has presented the posts correctly in time order. On the other hand, it sometimes takes a long time to discover new posts – up to a day in a couple of cases.

My third go was the RSS function in Thunderbird. This is arguably the best so far but only if you are using Thunderbird as your email client. It’s hardly worth running it just for the blogs. I have been using it as my email client recently but will probably go back to TheBat! (as I always do) because of certain insoluble little problems with it.

So I am still looking for the ideal RSS reader. Those mentioned allow you to read the post, or a truncated version thereof, but that’s all. I suspect that there are readers allowing more sophisticated facilities, though perhaps I am wrong.

It obviously makes sense to use a reader that is part of some other regularly used software such as your browser or email client but I suppose I might consider other options if the results warranted it. What other good ways of keeping up with RSS feeds have you clever people found?


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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5 Responses to Runs Smoothly Sometimes

  1. Peter Harvey says:

    You could try Google Reader. It seems to do what I would expect it to do
    (I haven’t tried any of the others that you mention). Whether or not you
    get the full message depends on the settings of the posting blog — I
    don’t know if the reader settings affect that.

    People who just read your messages on readers don’t appear in your stats
    as visitors — a point you made in a previous post.

  2. Cailleach says:

    I need to do that – it’s not always possible to go around and look at everyone’s as often as I’d like. Google Reader you say? Must check it out.

    Thanks for that! Silver T, Peter H.

  3. maht says:

    I use Bloglines, which does a pretty good job of finding new stuff, and allows you to mark specific entries as read or unread, or to keep one you want to reference later as “new.”

  4. SilverTiger says:

    Thanks for your comments. I have just spent some time looking at Google and Bloglines. I found I had already tried both of them.

    At a first try, Bloglines seemed incomprehensible. I persevered this time and managed to load some feeds, hurrah. I find it quite difficult to use. Unless I have missed a setting somewhere it only displays unread posts. Once you have displayed these, they sink into oblivion.

    Google does things more easily and is quite pleasant to look at. However, actually getting to the reader through the search engine and login screen and clicking on “Reader” on the menu takes an age on my dial-up (yes, I know, I will be getting broadband anytime now…). Once in, I found ths facilities no better than those in Opera, which doesn’t surprise me: in expecting more I was no doubt being unreasonable.

    So I think for now I will stick with Opera which does a perfectly good job without me needing to log in, etc. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn’t show the whole of a longer post on The Moon Topples but that may be owing to a setting his end. A click takes me to the actual page.

    I shall keep listening for further advice, though.

  5. caveblogem says:

    I use Bloglines, but can’t really recommend it. I just tried to read my feeds and it was down again. And it is a little strange.

    I’ll keep checking back here to see if any of your readers find something good!

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