I occasionally see people write that they're reading this or other blogs by regularly or irregularly opening it in their browser to see if it's been updated. If you don't already know, there's a better way: RSS aggregators. These are programs that open a machine-readable version of the blog or other frequently updated web source (in RSS or Atom formats), keep track of what you've already read, regularly check whether there's something new you haven't read, and display a list of updated subjects for you to browse through. Much less time and intellectual effort than doing the same thing yourself, freeing up your time to read more blogs instead...

Or, if you have a livejournal, the friends list there functions in much the same way, except for the keeping track of what you've already read part. It's limited to content on LJ, but that includes copies of various syndicated RSS feeds from elsewhere on the net. I've already shifted my reading of [info]pharyngula and [info]thestraightdope from my aggregator to my flist, and may move more feeds over as I discover their corresponding LJ addresses.




At the bottom is a form to paste the feed url into Livejournal for automatic syndication. If you have a paid account, you can add some number of feeds, which at least used to be limited by the 1/log of the number of subscribers of the feed. It may be unlimited now.


I suppose that would be a good reason to get a paid account...




If only for a month or two to get the first set of "I wish these were on LJ" feeds, then later month-to-month as others catch your eye... Then again, the year-long paid accounts are quite reasonable.