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Techie Tuesday #1

I had a few different versions of today's post I was working on and kicking around, but then Adam, in his comment yesterday, asked me what RSS is. It dawned me then that I'm one of the only people I know who use RSS, and this is a great thing to share with anyone who uses the internet as a news and info-gathering source.

First, what is RSS?

RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication.' Basically, it's a way to deliver new content to 'subscribers' of sites. Every site worth a shit offers a means of aggregating their updates nowadays.

For example, when updates, the new item on the site shows up in my Google Reader. Instead of having to waste an hour or more 'surfing' the net, hitting all my regular sites, I just comb through my Google Reader and get caught up on what I care about.

Okay, so what is Google Reader?

Google Reader is my preferred RSS reader. It acts as a hub for all your feeds, and lets you organize them as you'd like. It can also be accessed through your phone, or you can use Prism (or a little know-how) to make it its own pseudo-stand-alone app on your machine.

There's some other more advanced 'sharing' stuff you can do with G-Reader, but we'll save that for another post. Seriously, it's one of my favorite web-apps out there.

Fine. So how do I go about adding feeds to my Google Reader?

First, log into Google Reader with your Google account, and make sure your login is cool.

Then, start hitting your favorite sites. Like this one.

Let's pretend you have excellent taste, and want to know the moment I update my blog.

To do this, scroll down to just above my graveyard of embedded shit (the ESPN scores, XBox Live Gamercard, etc.) and look for 'Subscribe to: Posts (Atom), then click on it. It should flip to a page either asking what kind of app you want to use to subscribe to this feed, or it'll take you to a Google page asking if you want this in your Reader or Google home page. You want it in your Reader.

If for some reason you don't get either of those, you can right-click on the Atom link and 'save target as,' then paste that directly into Google Reader by clicking on 'Add a subscription' in the top left of the page.

Additionally, a lotta sites, like this one, will show this symbol in the URL bar:

If you click on that, it'll either have the same functionality as the above, or it'll give you a few choices as to what kind of subscription you want. I always default to the highest version of RSS, if possible, or Atom.

Okay, that's all done, so now what?

We'll talk more in the future about the deeper features of Google Reader, but know that you can create embeddable objects (like I have) for your blogs and pages that show your latest 'shared' items (sharing is located at the bottom of each item in your feed), you can network w/ folks who have similar tastes using the 'like' option at the bottom of each feed item (which you can use to push your own shit), and you can customize and organize your news any way you want. I break mine into sub-categories, but usually tackle the whole mess (I have about 200 unique feeds in mine) twice a day in chronological order.

Among my favorite feeds:

Laurance's blog

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Rams blog

Ars Technica (techie stuff)

Bernie Miklasz's blog

Bioware blog

Bird Land

Iris's blog

Cody's gaming blog

Jorge Garcia's blog



Felicia Day's blog

Gamasutra (game industry news)

Jeff Green's blog

Hot Stove League (Cardinals blog)

Jono Bacon's blog (Ubuntu)

Mozilla Labs

Penny Arcade

rwnin infosec blog


STL Sports Nation

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Cardinals' coverage

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Mizzou coverage

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Rams' coverage

Stop All Monsters

Hollywood Reporter - Film

Hollywood Reporter - TV

1UP Gaming News

The Onion


Ubuntu News

Untitled Podcast: Collector's Edition

Aaand, that's probably way more than enough.

In Other News

- don't forget that Tony and I are returning to the mics these next two weekends, to record two new episodes of Untitled Podcast: Collector's Edition. We'll be rapping about Tokyo Game Show this weekend and doing a full-on Holiday Preview the following weekend. Have any games you just gotta hear about? Drop 'em here!

- tonight is the season finale for Warehouse 13, which has undergone an amazing transformation. It started out as one of the worst shows I'd ever seen, but I hung in there because of the concept, and was rewarded by some dramatic improvements to the show. I wanted nothing more than the two leads to die slowly at first, but after about 5 or 6 episodes, I stopped hating them, and I actually kinda liked them a bit. Now, it's actually a really fun show, and I urge you to go back and give it a shot.

- still loving the new Pearl Jam, Backspacer. If you stupidly walked away from them a few years ago because they had expanded beyond what your tiny mind can handle, give them a listen now.

- tomorrow is Writing Wednesday, and I'll be talking about how to come back to that piece that ya started in earnest, then never quite got back to. It happens to all of us, but I have a few tricks for getting that spark and drive back. I'm also taking any and all writing-related questions, so post 'em in the comments if ya got 'em!

Lemme know about anything you wanna hear about in:

Manly Mondays
Techie Tuesdays
Writing Wednesdays
Thopical Thursdays (current events, sorta)
Fuck-Off Fridays

I'm taking any and all advice questions or topic suggestions, so HIT ME!


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