The other day, I had to shake myself awake as I pored through my RSS feeds. Certainly, looking at the feeds in GoogleReader isn't as visually engaging as watching a few hundred tweets flit by. At that moment of insight, I realized what blogging had come down to for me--no profound acts of reflection, only moments of whimsy whispered across the ether.
A bad thing? Not really. My brain turns off sometimes, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information flowing into GoogleReader. In fact, RSS feeds serve as placid pools compared to the burbling, bustling Twitter/Facebook/G+/Plurk streams that combine to wash any coherent thoughts away.
In the next week, we’ll be making some highly requested changes to Google Reader. First, we’re going to introduce a brand new design (like many of Google’s other products) that we hope you love. Second, we’re going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles. (Official Google Reader Blog) via Donald Jenkins
Among those features that will soon be retired are “friending, following and shared link blog inside of Reader.” (Source: Silicon Filter)
And, that first piece of vague news coupled with the second that GoogleReader will morph into something a bit more social sent me running for a free, open source RSS aggregator, RSSOwl, which works on Linux, Mac and Windows.
RSSOwl is something I've come back to, not having mentioned it back in 2009 when I looked at RSS Aggregators (a dying breed of tool)...RSSOwl has certainly improved over the years and will stay installed on my computer.
I am pretty sure people have snickered at my interest in RSS more then once, and even then it’s only when I am in the company of people who know what the hell RSS is, an every shrinking pool of people. All that aside I think Google Reader is a powerful tool, and powerful people use it. (Source: Alex Kessinger)
Well, you're not alone, Alex. I have to admit, it's a bit weird pondering an RSS aggregator you install on your computer, that isn't "cloud-based" and all that.
Yet, sure enough, in a second, RSSOwl had imported my GoogleReader feed, and I found myself making connections via blog entries that I never would have seen juxtaposed in G-Reader. While I'll give the new G-Reader a chance, it's nice to be able to take a bird eye's view, to twist the streams and get something new out of them...and the very least, to wake me up again and plant my feet firmly on the ground.