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.
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.