A picture named dd10.jpg

"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Rock 'n Rule

Got this cartoon from Tom Coates' Blog.  It rocks !!

A picture named you_rock.jpg

12:43:33 PM    comment []  trackback []

Reading Blogs through RSS versus Browsing

I've been away from my blog for almost two weeks.  Will be back in flow soon.   Its pouring work !

This morning, i realised i had not visited my own home page for a few days - and smiled to myself as i realised i had fallen into the trap of reading blogs only through newsreaders - even my own !  I realised this when i saw many messages at my guestboard that i had missed - with two of my most regular visitors to it - Judith and Rob leaving behind messages saying ... "Dina ???". 

Made me think of what one misses when you read blogs mainly through aggregators.  For anyone who reads blogs through RSS feeds, there i no doubt that there are tremendous advantages.  For me, its like glancing through a wide-angle lens at the landscape and then focussing on specific areas of interest before i click on them, much like my own peronalised, customized daily newspaper or journal.  It is clearly efficient.  

Some of the shortened feeds that interest me force me to visit the blog page through my browser or if i want to leave a comment i do - and very often i find much more there that catches my interest than just the specific post i wanted to read in full. 

Here are some of the things i miss out on when reading blogs through aggregators and newsreaders.  

  • the touch-feel of looking around a blog page - the visual design and layout that can so often be your own unique signature, the photograph that some people have of themselves that immediately humanises the 'text' for me, the little changes and nuggets like mood indicators (have seen these on many teen blogs) and guestboards that really bring alive the person behind the blog. 
  • the jazz play around a blog post that adds so much value to the original post, through dialogue facilitation tools like comments - i have subcribed to comments feeds from a few blogs - but find they aren't very useful as they don't display all comments to a post, only the most recent,  nor do all of them display the original post - so you lose the thread.   Trackbacks too that sometimes take you to more analyses, articulation and expression on the issue. You also miss out on links to related entries, or to older posts from the archives on the same topic.  
  • the value additions that are efforts that a blogger makes to share even more, and can be a tremendous source of information for readers - sections on the side panels of a blog that have linkrolls, skyperolls, blogrolls, lists of books being read are examples 

There has been much discussion already on how people read blogs - Liz Lawley says "And despite the lengthy list of weblogs I read regularly, I still resist using an aggregator, because the visual aspect, the virtual space, of a weblog is important to me", and Lilia wonders "if aggregation kills personal voices".

It really shoudn't be an either-or issue ..... i use the inbuilt Radio Userland News Aggregator daily, as my main source of reading blogs, i have Sharpreader that i tend to use more weekly - i like the built-in Feedster blog search engine there - and i visit blog pages occasionally.

Still there is the need for better efficiency !

What are your blog reading habits ?  

11:07:37 AM    comment []  trackback []