Fast loading website suggestions?
September 16, 2010 10:12 PM   Subscribe

Can you suggest some frequently-updated websites that work well on an older browser with a slow connection?

Currently I'm working a customer service role with very few customers and spend most of my time browsing the web. However most of the terminals only have older browsers (IE6) installed and the connection struggles with content-heavy sites. For example, metafilter and fmylife are fine but chow and newscientist take ages to load and frequently bug out. Can you suggest some other broad-subject websites that would work well on a slow connection and provide hours of mind-numbing-but-interesting word-based entertainment? I know this question is quite broad but if you spend hours at a time on a predominantly text-based website other than metafilter, I'd love to hear about it!
posted by birch effect to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Marky at 10:22 PM on September 16, 2010

Google reader or Instapaper will format other sites for you.

Alternatively, go to the mobile version of a site.
posted by k8t at 10:27 PM on September 16, 2010

Wikipedia was actually really slow when I accessed it on IE6 this summer- much more so than I expected.
posted by MadamM at 10:35 PM on September 16, 2010

Uninstall Flash.
posted by rhizome at 10:35 PM on September 16, 2010

Seconding google reader.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:37 PM on September 16, 2010

Jerry Pournelle's site is pretty snappy, but not very high volume. He's got two main pages, view and mail, that he typically updates once a day.

Teresa and Patrick Nielsen-Hayden's Making Light is almost entirely text. It gets only two or three posts a week, but lots of comments.

In the Pipeline, a blog by a pharmaceutical research chemist. (You don't have to have a chemistry background to enjoy it.)

(I just noticed a pattern that I hadn't been aware of. These text heavy sites all seem to keep a lot of stuff on the front page.)
posted by Bruce H. at 10:43 PM on September 16, 2010

The League of Ordinary Gentleman - - frequently is - or was, no new material for the last year but plenty in the archives.
posted by vapidave at 10:49 PM on September 16, 2010

Google reader is definitely a good choice, but you often need to click through to the actual site, which could defeat the purpose.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:51 PM on September 16, 2010

I know you asked for internet things, but reading a book might be nice to do. If you really want to do it online you could check out the massive library of Project Gutenberg or from a current front-page post: Arthur's Classic Novels. For reading a whole book I'd prefer a real paper book, but I'm sure reading on a monitor should be okay.
posted by bjrn at 11:32 PM on September 16, 2010

Futility Closet is almost all text with a handful of images, and has a very spare layout. It's only updated three times a day, but has a vast backlog of anecdotes, trivia, puzzles, and word games.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:39 PM on September 16, 2010

Everything 2 is good for getting lost in, like a non-NPOV Wikipedia.
posted by msittig at 5:05 AM on September 17, 2010

I second Google Reader, and suggest Tumblr, where you can collate a selection of interesting blogs on your Dashboard to read. When I was working in an area with .1 Kbps (which I just did not think could happen), these were what I used, plus some Proj Gutenberg.
posted by quadrilaterals at 5:08 AM on September 17, 2010 -- perfectly readable even in links/w3m (text-only, terminal web browsers) over a gprs connection ;)
posted by blue funk at 5:12 AM on September 17, 2010

Best answer: I'd visit the sites through Google Mobile, so you can visit New Scientist for example and all the links will be to the mobile versions of the pages. Nice and snappy, and (usually) keeps all the content you want to see.
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 5:28 AM on September 17, 2010

posted by blue_beetle at 5:39 AM on September 17, 2010

Google Reader is great, but would it actually help with the OP's problem? While GR reproduces a page without all the formatting clutter, it seems like the page itself needs to load in the browser first before GR can do its job, which would still cause the band-width issue.
posted by 5Q7 at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you for all the responses, yet to check out each link but the ones I have look very promising. I do already use Reader but as Mr. Gunn points out, often you need to click through to the original site. Using the mobile version of a site is great lateral thinking, I'll give it a shot next time I'm working.
posted by birch effect at 3:12 PM on September 17, 2010

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