Friday, May 07, 2010

Your Interface to Content Matters...

I've realized something recently... I am far less inspired, irritated, absorbed.. Far less engaged... with the content I read via RSS, than I was before I switched to RSS.

An rss feed reader removes all of the ... atmosphere... of the content. The site design, the comments (unless you choose to click through), the general feel.

RSS allows you to access much more information, much more conveniently; but it seems to me, that you... or at least I... get less out of it.

I find myself far less inspired by what I'm reading. I find that I have a lower attention span for it. That I'm not writing and engaging in comments or in responses on my own blog.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this. The hours that I'm not at my desk, my interface to the net is a netbook (a 12" eee 1201), and the limited screen real estate of the netbook was one of the big motivators for me to move to an RSS reader in the first place (along with the limited processor speed, and memory).

I used to read blogs by keeping all my blogs in a bookmark folder, and opening all of them in tabs with firefox; opening linked content in more tabs next to the blogs tabs and so on... This was a rich content experience, but it took a lot longer, had a lot more crashes, and took up a lot more screen real estate and system resources... I'd regularly see Firefox using 2 gigs of ram or more.

That style of reading worked well for my desktops, and my powerful desktop relacement laptops... not so much when I switched to using a netbook for much of the day (basically if it's not from 8am to 6pm, I'm probably on the netbook).

Also, it's not exactly feasible to do both; one while I'm on the netbook, and one on the more powerful computers; because RSS feed readers have no way of knowing if you've viewed the content in other formats... so I'd end up skipping through hundreds of posts (I should note, my RSS feeds for a typical day get over 1000 updates. I read over 100 blogs, plus another 50 or so news sites, web magazines, industry websites etc... etc...) and it would be more hassle than it was worth just to try to keep up.

But I want to get that richer experience, and deeper involvement with the content back...

I'mna think about this for a while.