Filtering the feeds

Some people (well, Dave Bailey who now has his own blog) have complained about their feed readers being overpowered by my posts. To help I’ve decided to point you all in the direction of the following options – you can, if you like, subscribe just to the feeds of individual categories – or you can subscribe to this feed I’ve just created using RSS mix that excludes the Curiosities, Coffee, and Sport categories and just has the serious stuff about my life, college, Christianity, tips for communication and any “cultural” insights I might come across.

Here’s the new megafeed.
Lucky you. Here are the links to the feeds for individual categories:

RSS Consciousness
RSS Curiosities
RSS Communication
RSS Culture
RSS Christianity
RSS College
RSS Sport
RSS Coffee

Feeding on ourselves

I’ve been playing around with my RSS settings. I broke a couple of things. But now they’re fixed. I think.

If you’d like to subscribe and you’ve been having issues recently with the “RSS” link on the site – now’s the time. It works. Hooray. Click here to update your feed.

Also, if you subscribe to any old versions of the feed you should probably change – the nathanintownsville domain expires in a month.


I mentioned the other day that I was going to pull the scambaiting posts off my main page. They were too long for anybody not interested in reading through pages and pages of my interactions with random Africans.

Well, today I did it – so from now on you can get your scam fix here – or subscribe to my scam posts here – for the time being these posts will still appear in my full RSS feed

You’ll see a link to the Scambaiting category in the far right column, and the headings of the last five posts to appear there.

To whet your appetite – here’s a wordle of all of Dr Paul’s correspondence to me…

Feeding the masses

Wow. Today I have 43 feed subscribers. This number fluctuates pretty dramatically.

If you’re not a subscriber then maybe you should be if you don’t have a feed reader – try Google Reader on for size.

If you are a feed reader then maybe you should stop by the actual page sometime to see what’s happening in the comments.

Anyway, these are largely irrelevant observations tangential to the main purpose of this particular post.

I’m trying out FriendFeed today – it’s a social networking aggregator/platform/rival to Facebook or Twitter. It looks fun so far. It’s like Facebook without the bloat and Twitter with more content.

Is anyone else on it already? If you’re not and you want to see what FriendFeed looks like in action – here’s my page.

If you’re not it’s worth checking out – so far it’s got 57 sites that it appears to integrate with pretty seemlessly – and you can pull any custom RSS data into it too.

On the blacklist

I’m on a blacklist. The Education Queensland blacklist no less. Apparently…

Tim says:

“Just thought i’d let you know your site has been blocked by eq hierachy. Congratulations on making it to the level of facebook and my blog… the question is now what am i gonna do when i should be working…. hmmmm i wonder if stick cricket can be tracked”

Was it something I said?

Now I know a little of what all those nasty sites will feel once the clean feed begins in earnest.

My advice for Tim – and for others in the same boat – is just subscribe to my blog using Google Reader – no school in its right mind will block google. You may have to rename the feed.

Facebook is blocked at my work too – but I get my friend’s status updates via RSS.

Things I use: Google Reader

Google Reader has had the most profound impact on the way I use the Internet. More profound than even switching to Firefox. Google Reader is an RSS reader. Like all google products (except advertising) it’s free of charge – and developed by the leading geeks in the field. It’s now incredibly rare for me to actually visit a website outside of my email, social networking and banking sites. Everything I want to read about comes delivered to my reader. 

Here are some stats describing my Google Reader use:

“From your 236 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 14,956 items, starred 77 items, shared 117 items, and emailed 0 items.”

10 Reasons to use Google Reader

1. Organise your browsing – my 236 subscriptions are split over 13 categories that I created. And I’m constantly refining my subscriptions – adding and subtracting feeds is as easy as clicking the orange rss icon on an interesting site, or selecting unsubscribe from a drop down menu in Reader.

2. Refine your browsing based on your history – the trends page I pulled those statistics from also allows you to unsubscribe at the click of a delete icon – telling you which feeds you’re most likely to skip in your daily browsing.

3. Getting started is easy – all you need is a Google Account. Google will recommend blogs to you on the basis of your interests – you can search for feeds, you can see what your google contacts subscribe to, you can see what other people who subscribe to the things you subscribe to subscribe to… the options are pretty much as limitless as the Internet itself.

4. Navigation is easy – my subscriptions are broken down into categories, navigating between articles, categories and sources is easy.

5. Finding old posts is easy – Have you ever wanted to find an old blog post you read that is now suddenly useful to you? Previously read items are archived for typically easy retrieval. You can even star your favourites for much easier ready referal – or email them to a friend who might be interested. 

6. Sharing your favourite posts is a breeze – Not only can you email posts to people they might interest, the inbuilt “Share” function places shared items on a standalone page with its own RSS feed, and items are visible to your “friends”  based on settings that you determine. Share items can be easily be incorporated into your blog, tumblr, Facebook, etc so that people can keep track of what you’ve found interesting or informative. You can share with a note to editorialise the item in question or to justify its place in your heart. 

7. It’s fast – you get right to the content of a page without all the hassle of loading it, clicking the “next button” or putting up with any of the inconveniences of visiting a site. 

8. Sync for offline reading – if you’re catching a flight, going on a road trip, or heading somewhere boring with no internet connection you can keep your reader addiction fed with offline mode. The fact that RSS feeds are pretty lightweight (particularly with pictures and embedded media removed) means syncing is quick and easy – and your starred items and things you’ve managed to get through will be updated when you make the switch back to online mode, meaning you’re not reading the same things twice. 

9. Keyboard shortcuts – moving between articles is as simple as hitting “j” to go forwards and “k” to go backwards – I think “j” will now be the key that wears out fastest on my computers. 

10. Embrace the future – RSS was heralded as the future of the internet when it was launched – I was sceptical of this claim to begin with, but thanks to discovering reader I can see where that claim was coming from. Most websites are putting their content out there as an RSS feed, the vast majority of blogs are on the bandwagon – why spend your time punching in URLs or clicking through your bookmarks when you can just visit them all in one place – and browse through posts chronologically – the default is for you to be reading the most recent material first. Which means everything you’re reading is new and exciting.

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