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Saturday, October 08, 2005

How to Make Your Web Surfing 10X Faster

If you know all about RSS and Atom, this will be a waste of your time, but if you never heard of these site feed protocols, this article may be of interest, because it will make your web surfing much faster, more efficient – and almost professional. Many web sites and web logs automatically generate a file whenever they are updated. That is, whenever a new report, headline or article is posted, a special file is exported. In doing so, these sites follow either an RSS or an Atom protocol – both of which usually can be read by certain programs called newsreader-aggregators, or just, aggregators. These RSS or Atom files cannot be read by normal browsers; you need to have an aggregator to gain access to these automatic feeds.

If you have an appropriate aggregator, and if the web sites you normally surf have such site feeds, you can list each and every site on a single page on your screen. Whenever one or more of your preferred sites is updated (with news, weather, new products, technology announcements, legal briefs, new cartoons, jokes, whatever), that fact is noted alongside the name of the site or sites. If you then click on the site name, the new updates pop up on your screen – usually in a side window. Once you have clicked on the site name to look at the updates, the site name changes to show that you have seen the most recent updates. Instead of going from web site to web site to see if there is anything new and interesting for you to see, all of the sites are in one window – and show at a glance which have updates and which have not, since the last time you checked.

Most of these aggregator programs charge a rental fee or a downloading fee.
However, one of the reasons I am writing this article is that I have recently discovered and now use a free web site which is itself an aggregator. Instead of having to pay for and download an aggregator program, you need only to go to this site and register to use it.

On my own web site, “From Sea to Shining Sea”, just under my profile at the right, is a small white and blue banner that says “Subscribe with Bloglines”. If you click on the banner, it will take you to Bloglines, the aggregator web site; it will establish “From Sea to Shining Sea” as your first site subscription (my site generates an Atom site feed); and it will permit you to register.

After you register, you can set up any and all web sites you wish to monitor (providing they have RSS or Atom site feeds), and off you go. The link to directions for setting up (subscribing to) a site is in the lower left hand corner, and the easiest way is to use what Bloglines calls an “Easy Subscribe Bookmarklet”. Once you have set up the Bookmarklet in your Favorites or Bookmarks, when you visit a favored site again, just click on the Bookmarklet, and that site is subscribed automatically. From that point on, any updates to that site will be noted. Updates to your Blogline account are performed hourly, and surfers with slow internet connections will find that the feeds load much faster than do the complete web pages they used to load. Happy surfing.

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3 Comments:

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Liz said...

Thanks so much! I've heard about this but haven't taken time to research it. Sometimes people like me need simple layman's terms, you know?

 
At 4:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes, these gambles pay off, but there are occasions when they fail miserably,

 
At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would The Thought Of Thousands Of Other Web Site's All Displaying Your Content,

 

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