How to Save Time Surfing the Web

I find myself many mornings hanging out with my girlfriend in bed and I watch how she surfs the web and how I surf the web. So I thought I would offer a few friendly tips on how to save some time while surfing the web. If you try to apply this to a site like MySpace I hope you soon discover you are a moron and may we press on.

So I know a great deal of you go from website to website that you visit on a regular basis just to see what is new in the world. Sometimes website have update and other times they haven’t. Now the question is how much time do you spend visiting websites that don’t update constantly?

Well that’s where the hero of the internet known as RSS comes in. RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication. Well basically RSS is a XML page. Ugh okay in a simple fashion RSS is basically a special type of page. You can find my RSS page at /feed/ So when you visit this page you get different results depending on what web browser you use. If you use Internet Explorer you have my pity and well I don’t offer much help in that regard. But lets press on. Basically on that page you get a simple listing of every blog post I make. If you have a feed reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines you can add my RSS Feed to your Feed Reader and you can see if I have updated my page or not.

Here is how I have my bloglines page setup. Click it to make it transition in with a cool effect. I would like to thank the folks at lightbox for providing me with their wonderfully free javascript to make that possible.

Reading BoingBoing in Bloglines RSS Reader

So lets look at this I am subscribed to 50 sites that have RSS feeds. I see that out of my Mac Related sites only one site has updated since I last checked. MacRumors and they have added one news bit. So with that information I can click on that link and read a clip of the article and decide if I want to read the rest of it by clicking on it further. So instead of visiting 4 sites and only finding one update. I don’t have to visit any sites to see what has updated. Nobody has updated their blogs lately but I did save 1 article to go back and read later.

Does that make any sense so far in saving time? As you can see I have multiple tabs open as well because I am a rather large multitasker. I run two separate browser windows usually one for work the other for everything else. I like only having two web browser windows open with multiple tabs in each so I am not sorting through a billion windows. Windows doesn’t have expose like Mac does and even on my Mac I use Firefox and tabs.

“But Tristan how do I tell if a website has an RSS Feed?”

Well if they are somewhat of an intelligent company or person they will have one. You can tell if you find the RSS Logo somewhere in your web browser. With Firefox it appears in the address bar. If you are using Internet Explorer I would suggest getting Firefox or killing yourself. Both options will save time in the end. But just pick one you don’t need to do both. The RSS logo looks like

Tristan Pipo RSS Logo

If you have Firefox configured you can click that logo and it will auto subscribe you in the feed reader of your choice. You need to set that up via preferences. I prefer Bloglines over Google Reader mainly because of an interface issue. Plus the mobile version of Bloglines is far better then the mobile google reader at this point. Sorry Google I still love you for gMail and everything else that you do.

So I suggest getting into RSS and saving time on the web. Only read what you need. That is a good slogan. I said it first. Thanks for reading. Save time.

Here is a rather simple video that explains RSS.

If you would like to subscribe to awesomeness that is my blog. I got Google Reader or Bloglines for your subscribing pleasure.

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