Streamlining RSS/Web Browsing?
November 19, 2007 11:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to streamline my process of browsing RSS feeds and websites.

The way I do it now ...

I am subscribed to feeds via Google Reader. I browse through them using the keyboard: 'k' for the next item if I'm uninterested and 'v' to open the item in a new tab if I'm interested. Then I go through the opened tabs. If I'm too backlogged to pay attention to them, I bookmark all open tabs via Firefox's "Bookmark All Tabs".

When I do go through the tabs, if it's a lengthy read I nonetheless want to pay attention to, I may file longer reads into a folder marked, appropriately enough, "Longer Reads"; otherwise, I take action on them if appropriate. If they represent something I need to do, I use a bookmarklet to shunt the URL into Remember the Milk as a task.

If it's something I want to blog, I usually post it to my account using the complete firefox extension. ( then sends a daily post of what I've put in that day to my blog.) If something really cheeses me off or is something I think is really great, I open MarsEdit (a Mac OS X blogging application) and climb onto my soapbox.

Obviously, this is recreational and not obligatory, so it's not something I'm feeling under the gun about. I'm nonetheless wondering if it can be done more efficiently; if there are Firefox extensions, Greasemonkey scripts, cross-platform apps, or features I've not noticed or am ignoring that could be used to make the process described above even more streamlined and quick.

The one caveat is that I'm looking for a more universal accessibility. A Mac OS X application might be great, but wouldn't work on my Windows thumb drive. That's why above I suggested extensions, Greasemonkey userscripts, or features of these webapps I may have missed: they can be accessed using any OS.

Also, I do definitely understand that one way of streamlining would be to cut down the number of feeds I browse. Still, I'm at a number I like right now. I do periodically weed through and prune, though.

Also, how do you browse-and-blog?
posted by WCityMike to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
There's a fairly new Firefox extension called Read It Later, that allows you to make reading lists.
posted by ijsbrand at 11:57 AM on November 19, 2007

You should check out NetVibes. It's a web-based utility that lets you bring all the RSS feeds you care about together into one nifty page. One of the great things about it is that when you're looking at a particular RSS feed, you can click a button to view the web page. It also has a million cool applets out there that you can get from their EcoSystem page. Check it out, it really is a fantastic service, I'm typing this from within it right now.

It also has extensions that integrate with your GMail, Google Calendar,, Facebook, and everything else you can imagine. It's totally awesome, and adding feeds from blogs is super easy right from the start.
posted by baphomet at 12:40 PM on November 19, 2007

i use feed a aggregator as my homepage. i am a former netvibes user and current protopage user ( i like the look and overall simplicity of protopage over netvibes. my 13 regular feeds fit well into one tab with no need to scroll.
posted by ncc1701d at 12:49 PM on November 19, 2007

I second Netvibes for feed reading/organization, though I don't know how much it will actually simplify you having lots of stuff to read :)

One thing that I use is a "toread" tag on (that I can then subscribe to as another feed within Netvibes.)

So, organize feeds on Netvibes. Open items I want to read in new tabs. Tag items I don't have time to read as "toread" on Return to Netvibes later to check up on "toread" items. This can work for Google Reader as well.

Both Google Reader and Netvibes also have a mobile version, which I love to use when I'm on the road or otherwise away from a computer.
posted by jbiz at 1:04 PM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: Forgive my need for clarification, but how is NetVibes different from what I'm already doing with Google Reader? (hitting 'v' to open in own page in Reader = "button to open page" in NetVibes, all feeds aggregated on one page, etc.)
posted by WCityMike at 1:10 PM on November 19, 2007

Why don't you just use the "Star" to mark things you want to read later, and click "Share" for items you want to blog, then post the Shared Items RSS on your website. If you're using Blogger it can automagically display your RSS feel for you.

Another option (what I do) is I have a folder in my bookmarks called "ToBlog" that I go through every week and make posts on my blog. I then delete them from the folder.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:11 PM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: Blue Beetle -- problem with Google Reader's 'Share' is that it doesn't let me make a snarky remark about the page. :)
posted by WCityMike at 1:12 PM on November 19, 2007

I usually Star things that need more attention soon, and Share articles that I just find generally interesting. Every now and then I'll go through my Shared items to pull out stuff, but otherwise it just gets fed to my site. Once I'm done with the starred articles (i.e. I have blogged them or used them in research), I un-star them, so it's kind of like having a "To Do" list as well.

Works well for me.
posted by gemmy at 1:17 PM on November 19, 2007

Have you tried NetNewsWire? It has buttons for posting to and opening in Mars Edit (making both of those simpler), a built-in web browser with tabs that persist between relaunches (removing your "Longer Reads" step entirely), and another button to open in a separate web browser for anything you really need to do in Firefox. Your RTM integration would probably be less streamlined in NNW, but I think everything else would be easier.
posted by scottreynen at 1:46 PM on November 19, 2007

You might give Flock a try. It has some drag-and-drop features that allow you to quickly post something to delicious, flickr, youtube, etc. There is also a built-in RSS reader, web clipboard, and blog editor.
posted by mattbucher at 1:57 PM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: > Have you tried NetNewsWire?...

Original Post:"The one caveat is that I'm looking for a more universal accessibility. A Mac OS X application might be great, but wouldn't work on my Windows thumb drive. That's why above I suggested extensions, Greasemonkey userscripts, or features of these webapps I may have missed: they can be accessed using any OS."
posted by WCityMike at 2:15 PM on November 19, 2007

can be accessed using any OS

I guess I left out that NewNewsWire is part of NewsGator, which has a Google Reader-style web interface as well as clients for other operating systems.
posted by scottreynen at 2:58 PM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: Ah. Thank you.
posted by WCityMike at 3:05 PM on November 19, 2007

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