On Feeds: My History

Ted Leung recently noted his “blog-aversary”:http://www.sauria.com/blog/2009/01/09/blogaversary/. This reminded me that I’ve been reading feeds for 6-7 years. Shifting from reading centralized media like CNET, Infoworld and even Slashdot to individuals like “Matt Webb”:http://interconnected.org/home/, “Brent Simmons”:http://inessential.com/ and “Simon Willison”:http://simonwillison.net/ was an important event. For me, it was one of those moments where you realize there’s a whole other world of cool stuff to discover, explore and take part in. Certainly I would have a completely different character if I hadn’t discovered people out there on the web, doing their own cool stuff.

When I first started reading feeds, I experimented with some Linux stuff, most notably the crazy “AmphetaDesk”:http://www.disobey.com/amphetadesk/. I quickly settled into loving “NetNewsWire”:http://ranchero.com/. It was the first app I purchased when I got a Mac, and I still use it every day, to this day. Call me a feed reading curmudgeon, but I still think it’s the best way to keep up with lots of sites.

I’ve gone through some shifts in the kinds of feeds I read. I discovered feeds and blogging by “Dave Winer”:http://scripting.com, so I started reading him and the people in his sphere of influence. I quickly figured out that said sphere is an odd social environment that has little relevance to what I do as a developer. For a while, I subscribed to the “must read” influencers, such as Boing Boing. I quickly found that firehose was too strong and, again, not relevant enough.

So instead of trying to figure those worlds out, I started reading more coders. Somehow that lead from reading people who do front-end coding to reading design stuff, which proved quite interesting. These days I’ve been subscribing to people writing about “information design”:http://konigi.com, “visualization”:http://www.flight404.com/blog, “open source hardware”:http://tinker.it/now, “game criticism”:http://www.rockpapershotgun.com and “urban design”:http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/. I’m finding lots of awesome there.