When I started blogging, I made the decision that I didn’t want to be yet another geek blogger. I spend much of my time in technology, I don’t need to blog about it too. However, I am making an exception because this bit of technology relates more to urchins than geekdom. Occasionally, urchins goes through periods of neglect (like our backyard) when Jen is too busy to post. — I guess Jen was right, she has become the managing editor here and I am just an occasional contributer. I blame it on having a job that actually requires me to work, but if you have read all those links you know otherwise. — The first time this happened we lost some readers, even my mother-in-law thought it had come to an end. If urchins ever does come to an end we will let you know. In the meantime, if you are tired of the frequent letdown of visiting urchins to find nothing new, I would like introduce you to the miracle of RSS feeds.
What is an RSS feed you ask? Basically, it is a syndication service similar to Reuters or AP. Like most things, the internet has leveled the playing field for syndication. This means the critical news items from urchins can easily be integrated into your my.yahoo or personalized google home page. Don’t believe me? Try it.
But wait, thats not all! RSS slices, dices and makes julienned fries. Ok, well maybe not, but if you keep your eye out you will notice that most of the other blogs you read and many more sites offer RSS feeds. Using one of the many great feed readers out there you can now aggregate all your reading into one site and see only the new articles. Online feed readers like Bloglines and Google Reader are a great way to get started. If you want to get more complex with your feed reading there are a number of standalone feed readers for Mac and Windows. On the Mac I use Vienna and Jen uses NetNewsWire Lite, but if you are willing to spend a few bucks Newsfire seems to be the current darling.
RSS is a key part of the new breed of sites being called web 2.0 and evolving beyond the syndication of blogs. Here are a few of the more more fun and unconventional feeds you can get:
See what’s new in your GMail inbox
See all the flickr photos with you favorite tag
Get local traffic reports from Yahoo
iTunes Top 25, new children’s music or your own custom feed
See new posts on craigslist that contain the word canon
from outerspace — well actually just from our two week vacation by the seashore. I bet you were wondering where we were, huh? Well, we were hoping for better internet access while vacationing but no such luck so sorry for the unintentional blogging break. It might take us a little bit to get through all the laundry, mail, and articles in our bloglines — over 1000 combined — but we’ll be posting more about our trip this week. Here’s a preview…
We’ve had a recent obsession in urchinland — legos. After recently being introduced to big-kid legos Katie wants legos all the time. Today we went to the lego store at the mall and she played there, building a tall tower, for almost an hour. The sales guy kept walking by and saying hello, like we just walked in. I felt like telling him Yes, we are the same people you just said hi to three minutes ago. We’re going to be here for a while. We bought some new sets — including some to hide until we need them to bribe Katie to do something — and Stefan was making fun of me saying, Are those legos for you or for Katie?
I consider myself fairly savvy when it comes to computers. I was a software engineer before I became a diaper disposal engineer after all. But this blogging thing I’ve been avoiding for some time. I do enjoy reading the occasional blog, including those others have written about their suburban lives with their suburban children. Personally though, it’s a little scary to me. Sure, I have the fear of being judged on the ridiculousness of our day-to-day lives, I’m afraid I’ll be hooked on blog-stats and wonder why no one is visiting our blog “Don’t they like us?”, but my greatest fear is the transference of blog responsibility. Let me explain…
We have been on the web forever, we have been gallery-ing a long time, we have even dabbled with wiki-ing for a while now, but it is time to blog. I was reading dooce.com today and it dawned on me: when Katie and Tristan are meeting the loves of their lives on a reality dating show (in the future won’t everyone meet their mate on a reality dating show?) what are we going to have to show the bachelor(ette)? Sure we will have scrapbooks – perfectly preserved, beautifully embellished, hand journaled 12×12 creative memories scrapbooks – but how is that going to compare to all the other parents pulling out blog archives.
I have been thinking about starting a blog since they were called weblogs. A couple of years ago I got hooked on The Trixie Update and was even motivated enough to install WordPress but I was more interested in making it look right than adding actual content. Keiko’s Nordljus is inspiring, but so seemingly unattainable that I just never did anything. Reading dooce inspired me to lay the banality of our existence down for all of time. With any luck there might be an eloquent word, an inspirational post or gem of wisdom. If all else fails maybe someone someday we’ll laugh at the absurdity it all.
I present to you our pseudo Cleaver, Griswold-esque suburban life…