Eating out of the wrong feed bag

Some time ago I had added’s RSS feed to the list of feeds I follow.  But it’s been gradually dawning on me that I haven’t seen any new posts for quite a while.  Yesterday I decided to check it out and see what was up.

It turns out I had bookmarked the Artima Articles feed (whose last post was on September 23) instead of the Developer Spotlight or Developer Buzz feeds (which appear to get multiple posts per week).  I was eating from an empty feed bag!


Sage (-Too) for RSS reading

As the number of websites I read has grown, my reading algorithm — roughly summarized as: “Bookmark each site-of-interest; regularly check each bookmark to see if there is something new since last time I checked” — has not scaled well.  The checking is starting to take too much time.

My solution is to use a feed reader (the Sage-Too add-on for Firefox, in my case) and it can check all the websites I follow efficiently (that is, using very little of my brain) and only show sites that have new posts I have not already seen.

This solution requires that I change over to using “live” bookmarks pointing to each site’s RSS feed.  Before my New Solution, some of my bookmarks were live and some were the simple regular kind.

Sage-Too in Action

You start with just the little sage leaf in the Firefox toolbar:

Once you press that (or Alt+Z if, like me, you’re keyboard-inclined), the Sage-Too sidebar appears:

Press the “Check Feeds” button () and sites that have updates since last time I checked* show up in bold:

When I click on one of these bold titles, a list of the most recent updates appears in the bottom of the sidebar with unread posts appearing in bold; and in the main browser window, a few of the most recent posts are rendered in a way that makes it easy to skim the beginning of the article and see if I want to open it to read more:

If I do want to read more, I just click on the bolded article title in the bottom of the Sage-Too sidebar, and that takes the browser to that page:

I can toggle the Sage-Too sidebar closed so I have more space to read, by clicking the Sage button (or pressing Alt+Z) again:

If I bring up the Sage-Too sidebar again after closing it, feeds I visited last time are no longer shown:

This is true even if I didn’t visit all the new articles.  If I want to see a feed that is not showing up anymore, I just temporarily toggle “Show only updated feeds”:

…and now I can see all the feeds I’ve set up, not just ones with new articles.

The Benefit

Using Sage-Too has enabled me to expand the range of sites I keep in touch with while cutting down the time it takes to do so.  What a help!  I appreciate the work of the Sage and Sage-Too teams to provide this.

Thanks also to Jon Fuller for introducing me to Sage, months ago.  (New ideas take a while to sink in sometimes!)

Maybe sometime I’ll write about how I set up feeds in Sage-Too.

*I took these screenshots this past Monday morning, and many of the sites I follow had updates over the weekend – when checking throughout the week I keep up with them more so there isn’t such a big list of sites with updates all at once.