Feed Your Head

My lack of productivity lately can be summed up in three evil little words: “Sub with Bloglines.”

If you don’t use the Bloglines RSS aggregator software, you have no idea what I’m talking about. And I almost don’t want to tell you, lest you be sucked in as well.

Bloglines is one program of many for reading blogs or news sites that have syndicated feeds. So every time anyone posts something to their blog, it shows up.

And the Sub with Bloglines button, pasted into the toolbar of your Web browser, lets you subscribe to a site with a feed whenever you see anything remotely interesting.

This is bad because it causes you to keep blithely adding feeds. And given enough feeds, you could literally sit there all damn day and just read what everybody’s writing in real time.

I mean come on – they’re so tempting! From a letter to Cary Tennis on Salon.com: “A grad student in China has taken possession of my soul. I know it sounds crazy, but should I leave my wife?” How could you NOT keep reading? Then of course you have to read the reader responses in addition to Cary’s… (OK, maybe YOU don’t. I obviously have issues.)

Subscribing to so many feeds allows you to monitor what everybody’s saying all the time – which is actually quite dangerous. It means you, yourself, never have to really think about what you are doing or thinking.

Well, time to get back to work… as long as I can keep from hitting “Refresh”…


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