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Feed Reading, Three Ways (Part 3)

This is a series on how to read feeds more efficiently. (This is part 3. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.)

In part 2, I suggested that the best way to read your most important feeds is by email.

But what if you don't want to read every word of the feed? What if the feed is important, but not that important?

Consider using a customized home page. Put simply, these pages allow you to display the headlines from multiple feeds on one page, like a newspaper. You can then quickly scan the feed's headlines for items of interest and click to reveal the full view.

Two popular free home page services are iGoogle and Netvibes. Each service allows you to create multiple tabs for different subjects. One tab, for example, could contain general news, while another could contain news about medicine, and a third could contain the tables of contents of popular journals. Here's a page from Netvibes, as an example. On this page, the feeds are all about science and technology:

The advantages of using customized home pages are many. The feed's recent items are all there, so it's unlikely that you'll miss any. You don't need to see the full text of the items, and you can click on any items that interest you. And can flexibly create tabs which contain different topics -- medicine, science, or whatever else you choose.

In part 4, we'll look at the third and final way of reading feeds: feed aggregators like Google Reader.
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About the Author


Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.