Newsfeeds were all the rage a few years ago when the news agencies and blog platforms started syndicating content this way. For the most part any blog, newspaper, TV station, or anyone who needs to syndicate a stream of information (articles, posts, comments, scores, etc.) has done so using RSS or Atom. This is great, but there is a lot of concern about how useful and usable newsfeeds are to the average web citizen.
Feedly: A great news aggregator
Like most people I find myself going to the same six or so places on the Internet for news every day: Digg, Yahoo Sports, IHT, CSMonitor, Globe and Mail, and so on (BAM, roasted Sarah Palin) All of them have RSS feeds (the little orange icon ). Rather than having to visit page individually to decide if I want to read the articles, I can aggregate their newsfeeds to a single place. As far as what that “single place” is, there has been a LOT of competition: My Yahoo!, Google Reader, Sage, etc.
Of all of these tools, my favourite by far is Feedly. It’s an add-on for Firefox (sorry Internet Explorer users, you have other options I’m sure). It allows you to (with a single click within Firefox) to add a feed to your own custom little magazine landing page. Usually RSS readers make your landing page look like an email inbox. The layout makes it very readable, and the simple category support is easy to use. From their website:
Feedly weaves your favorite content into a magazine-like start page. Based on Google Reader, Twitter and Firefox. Insanely Well Integrated.
I’ve been twittering up a storm, kinda. On Monday, some people participate in #Musicmonday, which means they twitter about a song they would like to share with the world. This is great, but in order to listen to the song you’d have to track it down. So as a courtesy, the good people at twt.fm have built a web app to tweet your #musicmonday song with a link to either the complete track or a preview (whichever is available on imeem). There are alternatives to this setup, some much more established.
WP Caching (after 2005)
Now something for those of you who run your own blogs on your own servers. WordPress has been a wonderful blogging platform, especially since they added automatic downloading and installing of plugins! One of the plugins I’ve battled with in the past has been WP-Cache. No new version since 2005.
Nobody told me, but now there is WP-Super-Cache, and it fixes much of the disagreements I had with WP-Cache. From the authors blog:
WP Super Cache version 0.9.1 is now available. WP Super Cache is a page caching plugin for WordPress that will significantly speed up your website. Major changes under the hood in this release, and many bugfixes.