I know, I know, Kirk has already done the ultimate appreciation of RSS — what can I possibly add to the conversation? Well, how about a little thing that I like to call the “World’s Most Expensive RSS Reader”? See, it’s not enough to have RSS; the entire experience cannot be enjoyed without a decent way of reading feeds. Sort of like cause and effect but more modern.
Since I switched to a Mac, I’ve been in a sort of RSS limbo. I’ve tried and rejected far too many readers — the built-in reader for Thunderbird came closest to meeting my personal needs (and it’s important to note that there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to RSS — everyone has their own quirks and requirements), but then, for reasons too lengthy to detail here, I stopped using Thunderbird.*
I hesitated over using Google Reader. I am not sure why — it just seemed wrong for me. Yeah, I can’t explain it. I mean, I’m one of those people who, as a matter of course, opens a slate of seven “standard” tabs each time I restart Firefox.** Those tabs represents the websites I must have access to multiple times during my normal day. Adding Google Reader to this group was not a challenge (obviously), but still I didn’t embrace the technology. I half-heartedly rebuilt my feeds feed in Google Reader…and still hesitated.
Then came the day when I decided my adorable pink Motorola Razr simply wasn’t doing it for me. Yeah, serious techno-lust and I had (just had!) to get an iPhone. No other phone would do. I wanted a cute, hip phone and, well, I think another member of my family did too…only since he doesn’t use cell phones enough to make any sort of major label plan fiscally viable, my phone was to be sort his by proxy. I like to see that as a win-win for me.
So after fiddling and fussing, I discovered the coolest thing every: Google had totally optimized Google Reader for ease-of-use on the iPhone. Even when I’m using the evil Edge network, I’m getting RSS feeds in a clean, readable format. You’d think this would be a given, but, wow, you’d think stopping for red lights would be a given. Makes me wonder why Apple didn’t include a dedicated RSS reader as part of the package.
I am very happy. Speaking of red lights, I now get it. This kid I work with (man, getting old is tough) once said that he looks forward to red lights because he has a hard time texting while driving. Being a responsible adult, I noted that you aren’t supposed to text behind the wheel. So I do not admit to glancing at blog posts while I’m waiting for the light to turn green…merely suggesting that it’s an option.
Sure, the iPhone is great. It does everything it should do — from phone calls to playing music while I’m at the gym — and more. But what I like the most is RSS via Google Reader. I feel like it’s upped my productivity (no joke) and made my life easier. How much more could a girl want?
* – It turns out that the problem wasn’t Thunderbird, but something bigger, nastier, and more expensive. Thunderbird simply manifested what would be a huge issue first. I guess I should be thankful for the heads’ up via a dead email program.
** – Which doesn’t happen very often, I’m so happy to say.