Friday, March 23, 2007

reading feeds over the web

It seems like all the cool kids are using Google Reader these days, and I must admit, I'm impressed. The interface is so clean, and a web-based feed reader where you can aggregate all of your habitual reading seems like the right thing. And the ability to share items from your feed with your friends without making link-only blog posts (or forwarding emails around) is pretty compelling. On the other hand, the point of so much of the web thus far has been linking to other parts of the web: it has a mysterious self-referential nature... does this sort of sharing diminish that aspect? Does a meta-feed like this put you, as the independent media maven that you are, on a different level than the well-established weblogs? When you stop putting links in your blog and publish a Google Reader feed, are you more like BoingBoing or metafilter, or less?

It is the future. We've got dynabooks and memexes, and we use them to distribute pictures of cats doing cute things.

O my vast readership, I address to you this question: how do you read news online? Do you have some separate feed reader program? Do you use your browser's RSS features? Google Reader? Your LiveJournal friends page? Something else?

And moreover: for the LiveJournal denziens, does anyone know of a good method for reading "friends-only" posts through Google Reader? There are a few posts out in the world on this topic, but nobody seems to have a decisive answer yet... perhaps we can answer the question definitively.

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