Google Reader

The world moves so fast on the internet. If you are not careful you can find yourself lost checking 4, 5, or even more web sites at a time to see what is new in the world. You wouldn’t want the world pass you by now would you. So, enter the News Aggregator. Many of the internet new sites, blogs, and even search engines offer what is called an RSS feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and you can read up on it in Wikipedia for a detailed explanation. A news aggregator allows you to combine RSS feeds from many different sites at once allowing you to get a good overview of what has been added to the web sites that you frequent.

I have used several different native application aggregators in the past, one of my favorites under KDE in Linux was aKregator. I have recently fallen in love with Google Reader. This web application seems to have it all. Mimicking the wonderful GMail interface for RSS feeds. Below is an example screenshoot from my google reader screen. As you can see I can have everything categorized into nice sections for a great overview.

RSS feeds can be great for your work also. An example realted to me is the need to keep up on current publications and pre-prints in High Energy Physics. A site that people frequent to do this is the SPIRES system from SLAC. A nice feature of this system is built-in RSS feeds. So, if I would like to see what articles came out under the field code of HEP-EX then I can have a RSS feed just for that. Then I can go to the google reader and it will show me all new papers that I have not seen. What a great tool. There are many other features of google reader that I have not mentioned and are definitely worth exploring, but I will leave that up to you, where would the fun be if I told you about it ahead of time.

So if you find yourself browsing many different web sites, looking at the same stuff over and over, I suggest that you look into using a new aggregator such as google reader. You might be surprised at how handy it becomes.


About Justace Clutter

I am currently a Physics graduate student at the University of Kansas. My enphasis is High Energy Experiment and as such am currently working at the D0 experiment at Fermilab near Chicago. My undergraduate was accomplished at Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU) in Springfield, Mo. I also compleated 5 years of active duty in the Air Force just after high school.
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