Time Out for a Little RSS Reading


This isn’t quite within the realm of what I’d normally cover on ZNF, but it’s probably relevant to anybody who’s reading this site. Yesterday I had time to kill on a train from Trenton, NJ to New York’s Penn Station. Given that: blogging takes up so much time primarily because of the reading involved (jkOnTheRun agrees), Google recently launched Google Gears, and I have no mobile broadband connection, I decided it was the right time to try out the new offline Google Reader feature. Here’s how it went:

Step 1
Download Google Gears and restart browser.

Step 2
Click the new offline button on the Google Reader home page to transfer the latest 2,000 items in my RSS subscriptions from the Web to my desktop. (The file download was remarkably quick.)

Step 3
Unplug and hit the train with new offline reading material.

Once on the train, we hadn’t even left the station before I had my iPod earbuds in and my laptop open. The offline Reader worked great, and there was the added benefit of having a finite number of items to read. (It felt like such an accomplishment to “finish” my reading for the day.) The only problem was that way too many blogs only include a few sentences in their subscription feeds, and of course I couldn’t go online to get the whole story. Please people, you don’t have to put everything in your feed, but give me something more than a few sentences!

In any case, if you’re a train commuter and the newspaper doesn’t give you everything you need, try out Google Gears. It’s (almost) like you never disconnected at all.

7 thoughts on “Time Out for a Little RSS Reading”

  1. I’m still a big fan of Mobipocket if you’ve got a PDA. It does a great job of pulling in full articles from RSS feeds, not just the brief snippets many sites include.

    The only problem is I don’t want my full feed list on my PDA unless I’m going on a very very long trip. So I just subscribe to my top news feeds with MobiPocket. Google Gears would be great for reading all of my blogs and news sites without having to transfer my OPML file to Mobipocket Reader.

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