Reading RSS vs. Visiting an Actual Site

I’ve been using Google Reader lately instead of iGoogle to get my RSS feeds and I have to say, it’s pretty nifty. Here are some observations:


  • No advertisements, as most people don’t make them a part of their RSS feeds.
  • Keep track of what you’ve read, what you haven’t. For example, Lifehacker puts up about 20 posts or so a day, and with RSS in iGoogle I would miss the majority of those, only being able to display 9 feeds or so at a time and checking only once per day. And other sites, like Bike PGH, only publish about once every three days, so they don’t regularly get updated. Now, I can see what I’ve read and what I haven’t quickly. Also, in iGoogle the only way you can know if you read something is to either rely on memory or the links getting recolored, but this only applies to things you’ve read in that browser.
  • Simple interface. Load times from graphic intensive sites and sites that don’t have good designs, or have distracting designs, are eliminated and reading RSS becomes more of a newspaper experience, where everything is uniform and pleasantly presented.
  • iPhone Interface lets me easily read these items whether I’m at my notebook or not. Imagine, every time you go to the crapper you have a newspaper that comes with you.


  • Lack of design. Even as the simple interface is a pro, it’s also a bit of a con sometimes, as it can be enjoyable to visit a site for its design.
  • Less conducive to commenting, as you need to click through to the site, then click the comments link instead of just being able to quickly get to it. This could be a good thing for the web though, forcing people to put a little more time, and possibly thought, into comments before just going off about everything they ever read.

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