Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Note to Bloglines Readers

Yes, Both of You
The Office of Subscription Management here in Roxie's World reminds those of you who follow us through Bloglines that the service is shutting down Oct. 1. You will need to choose another RSS reader, or, you know, just click right in to this happy place four or five times a day so you can enjoy our pretty template, which, according to careful audience surveys, has only made one reader hurl from scrolling down against that static, slightly out of focus background. The other advantage of clicking in is that you can see what's happening in our action-packed sidebar. Use our automatically updated blogroll as your RSS reader, darlings, and you will never again be caught not knowing what's going on in the strangely overlapping worlds of higher ed, queer/feminist law and politics, and inter-species love.

Yeah, yeah, we know, RSS makes life easier for those of you who follow a kabillion blogs a day. The truth is we use one ourselves -- Google Reader -- and were surprised that the announcement of the Bloglines closure was accompanied by grim predictions about the future of RSS with the shift to ever more sociable media. Apparently, RSS is insufficiently conversational in the World Wide Chatterbox brought to us by Facebook and Twitter (both of which we use, one of which we love). "The writing is on the wall," declares Ask.com, which acquired Bloglines in 2005, in explaining the shutdown. No, technically, sweet pea, the writing is on the screen, but don't you think it's funny that all such announcements from tech-landia are made with epic seriousness and absolute certainty about Trends and the Future of Everything? And as if anything of real importance hinged on how readers are getting their steady diet of blogalicious news, analysis, and barf jokes? Not to undermine the world-transforming implications of what goes on around here, but, hey, well, you know.

In any case, our good buddies over at ProfHacker have, in their usual tech-savvy and helpful way, embraced the cause of finding new homes for the displaced readers of Bloglines. Rather than holding a telethon or a Blog Action Day (like, um, Lifelines for Bloglines, maybe?), Julie Meloni sensibly asks what other aggregators are out there and what readers' experiences of them have been. Google Reader is leading in the replies Julie's gotten, but commenters bring up a number of other options. Click over there if you are in the market for a new feed bag. We admit there is plenty not to love about Google Reader -- clunky interface? check. boring look? check. -- but we find it a convenient way to keep a paw on the pulse of the blogosphere. Whenever we can, though, we click directly onto the blogs to show a little love for our hardworking blog pals.

How 'bout you, dear readers? How do you manage the flow of words and information in your online life? Is RSS an important part of that life, or do you agree that its days are numbered? Should we dump Google Reader in order to smash the emerging hegemony of Google Almighty or give in and admit that we have happily drunk the Kool-Aid? Burp. We eagerly await your reply.

(Image Credit: Picked up here.)

3 comments:

  1. RSS is definitely important for me - a) so that I don't spend half the day checking to see if new posts are up on blogs I read, which is annoying. Note: most of the blogs I read are not hooked into Facebook, for example, so it's not like Fb tells me when a new post is up.
    b) I also subscribe to journals in my field through RSS, which lets me know when a new issues comes out and allows me to browse the titles - if there's anything I actually want to read, I can then go to the journal through my library's website and immediately save the PDF. I'm a *much* more in touch scholar because of RSS technology.

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  2. Way cool on the journal subs, Dr. C. I had never thought of that! And totally with you, of course, on the benefits of RSS for efficiency in blog reading. There are some blogs (yours and ours excluded, of course) that just aren't much to look at, so we don't feel like we're missing much by not clicking through some days. And in some cases, many days.

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  3. I use google reader to keep up with blogs. I'd rather hammer a thousand rusty nails through my fucken dicke than putz around with fucken twitter or facebooke.

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