For the last little while, I’ve been developing quite the love-hate relationship with Thunderbird, my email program. It’s amazing. It’s open source. It’s just what I need.
And that is entirely the problem.
One of the things I love about Thunderbird is that, besides checking all of my email accounts and collecting the various bits of mail and depositing them in one very handy place, it will also collect all the blog feeds that I subscribe to and organize them into the little folders I created: Friends & Family, Photography, Light Reading, etc. One of the things I hate about Thunderbird is that, once it collects all those feeds (I have subscribed to over 50), they sit there in my email box, glaring at me, like an unread bunch of toddlers demanding attention. And so I spend all my spare time, and quite a bit that is not spare, going through them all and giving them the attention they demand.
I’ve finally had enough.
I can still organize my blog subscriptions into different categories (I can even put them in more than one, if they so fit). It updates faster than Thunderbird (though that was really my fault: I had Thunderbird set to check the subscriptions every 2 hours). I can check my feeds from anywhere, instead of just from work. And the coolest thing–I can share what I’ve found with others without writing a blog post about it.
Each post that shows up in Reader has a button below it called “Share This.” When I click it, it throws the post onto what is, essentially, a public “Rik’s Blog of Favorite Blog Posts” that anyone (with the link) can access. It even has its own feed, so I could actually subscribe to my own favorite posts.
Of course, there’s no point in doing that. No one wants to receive the post twice.
However, what I can do with the feed is this–throw a subscription widget into my sidebar so that anyone that comes here can see what I’ve been reading and find entertaining and share-worthy.
And so, if you will kindly throw your glance to the right, scan through the sidebar widgets and you’ll find the one that lists what I’ve been reading and enjoying lately. Or pop on over to the list to see even more (although right now, it’s fairly empty–I did just start using it, you know).