March 26, 2006

Subscriptions

subscription iconNo, not magazines. The little orange boxes that mean "subscribe to this feed" to the initiated. This means you never have to go to the actual blogs again, you see all the posts from all the blogs that interest you in a single conglomeration by using something called an aggregator. It saves time, especially if you restrict it to posts only on some specific subjects of interest. Example: Craig's list but entries only in certain categories.

The easiest aggregator to use? Probably bloglines because you aren't limited to a single computer. Your subscriptions follow you around from computer to computer. Firefox has built-in aggregator capabilities, as will the new IE that will be released in a year or so.

But some people just don't want to deal with learning a new type of browsing, whether it is supposed to be more efficient or not. They want to use what they already know and use constantly. Okay.

Addicted to IM, using it all day anyhow? Try using the immedi.at service instead of an aggregator. Apparently it works reasonably will with MSN IM, but not with Yahoo or AOL.

How about text messaging on your phone? SMS? You can subscribe to RSS feeds using the ZapTXT service. This might be useful for really important feeds that you don't want to miss. The same service claims to work also for sending posts to IM or e-mail.

And e-mail? That is a bit regressive perhaps, missing the point of the efficiency of aggregators, but some people are much more comfortable with e-mail. Here are the rssfwd links for getting automatic e-mail subscriptions to each of our City blogs. Look at the bottom of each page to see what the most recent post would look like as e-mail.


You will need to tell the service (RSSFwd) the e-mail address where you want to receive the posts.

How about podcasts? We used an automatic podcasting service to add an audio version of the police bulletins/blotters. A robot voice will read the text to you and if you are an MP3 afficianado you can subscribe to the audio version with itunes, juice, or something similar. Rather than trying to insert javascript in a post, why don't you now go to the police bulletins page, put on your headphones and try it out. Look for the little listen now button near the bottom of the left column.


Posted by library at March 26, 2006 02:40 PM
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