Just popping my head into the blog to jot down a quick suggestion for you bloggers out there. If you sometimes feel like you’re completely weighed down by the sheer volume of feeds you need to read (or, believe you need to read), I have a potential solution for you: checkout Bloglines and their “Playlists” option for reading your news.
With playlists, you can have a panel of the five most recent posts for each blog you put into a given playlist, which then get arranged into tiles. You can move your stuff around however you like so that the most important stuff goes on top. Best of all, you can quickly scan headlines for relevant content and just skip over stuff you don’t want to read. That’s exceptionally handy stuff, right there, if you ask me!
Here’s how I leverage Playlists to my advantage when researching a topic:
I’ll go out and get custom RSS feeds from Google News or similar news readers, then add them to my Bloglines feeds, usually in a throw-away folder called “Working,” or somesuch. Each of these is a keyword search on relevant topics for my research, but I separate the keyword searches so as not to make the results too narrow.
For example, if I’m researching Alexander Litvinenko (the Russian spy who recently died of polonium-210 exposure), I would search for “Alexander Litvinenko” on Google, Technorati, and Yahoo. Also, I search for “Boris Berezhovsky” and “polonium” on similar search engines.
Thus I have effectively, passively searched the Internet for information relevant to my subject, and I only need to check each feed for the needed content as it appears in the searches. But who wants to go through each feed every day?
Not me. However, by using the playlist option in Bloglines, I don’t need to. Rather, I add all these feeds into one playlist and scan it every so often for new information as it happens.
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