Gmail (which I highly recommend to anyone who's considering switching their email client; let me know if you need an invite) has a nifty feature called 'Web Clips' that allows you to get RSS headlines above your inbox.
For those of you unfamiliar w/ RSS, it's kind of like a radio station, but for online content. For example, our blog has an RSS feed (well, technically it's an Atom feed, but let's not split hairs) and you can subscribe to that feed and read our posts without having to go to our blog, in much the same way that you can tune in to a radio station and listen to A Prairie Home Companion on your radio without having to go all the way to the Fitzgerald Theater in Minnesota.
Okay, so maybe RSS isn't exactly like radio. But the point is, if you have 10 or 20 or (god forbid) 100 blogs and websites that you like to follow, it's much easier to subscribe to all their RSS feeds and get the information all in one place (your inbox, for example) than to visit each of their websites every day. At first I thought Web Clips was stupid (because I didn't really follow any blogs), but I've come to really like it. I subscribe to about 15 RSS feeds, and all day long while I'm working various posts from these feeds are displayed above my inbox. It looks like this:
I can glance at it while I'm reading email, and if the subject looks interesting, I'll click on it to read the full post; if it doesn't, I just ignore it. It's a great way to keep up on what's going on without spending too much time trolling the internet looking for something interesting. For those looking to set up their own Web Clips (or feed reader), I recommend the following feeds:
- Google Blogoscoped (a fun mix of Google-related news, games, bugs, and discussion)
- Reuters "Oddly Enough" News (weird news stories from around the world)
- digg and Slashdot (popular and/or interesting news stories submitted by readers like you!)
- ...and, for those who absolutely need to know where Brangelina went for Christmas, or why Lindsay Lohan is in the hospital, Yahoo! Entertainment News
My two favourite headlines from today were both from Slashdot:
- DNA So Dangerous It Doesn't Exist (I particularly like the Monty Python reference in the first comment)
- Bush Claims Mail Can Be Opened Without Warrant ("If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heckuva lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.")