better living through technology

Ok, I am not particularly technology savvy, or technology incompetent.  I will admit to avoiding certain technologies (like Twitter) simply out of ignorance/conjecture.  However I know there are people out there who are even less tech competent than me and I want to share some of the more useful tricks I have learned to help manage my interactions with information and people via the international network.

There are a few different topics I could discuss, but today’s subject shall be the use of RSS feeds to keep up-to-date with the various blogs I enjoy reading.  Some of these are personal blogs, such as Amanda & Dain’s Earthship blog, and a news blog, like Pitchfork’s music news.

I’m a bit too scatterbrained to actually remember to check these individual websites on a regular basis.   So, if I don’t get these entries delivered to me I probably won’t remember to actively seek them out.  This is why I have discovered how to harness the power of various technologies to make my life easier.  The first of these technologies is Mac Mail, however you could probably use outlook or whatever mail client you use.

I have to maintain about 3 different e-mail addresses.  I have my McGill alumni “e-mail for life” address, my personal address, and my VUW staff e-mail.  I also have a VUW student e-mail I never check, and at least 1 old e-mail address I used from 2001 to 2009 that I just can’t bring myself to delete.    So, I like it that I can just open my mac Mail application and all of my e-mail from all of my gazillion addresses is delivered to the same inbox.  I have even colour coded it so I know which address it was sent to (blue for Gmail, green for Vic, red for McGill).  I hate using the webmail interfaces, especially since McGill and VUW upgradeD to some horrible clunky version of Outlook Express, and check 3 e-mail addresses every day using webmail is a pain in the ass.  So, I love my Mac Mail.

But the best thing about Mac Mail is that when I find a blog I like, I can click on the little “RSS” button, and then all of the new entries that are added to the blog are delivered right into my e-mail inbox!

This RSS function works with other e-mail programs and various “feed readers”, though I find getting all my information delivered directly to my e-mail is the best in my opinion. I also have my computer set up to automatically open Mail when I turn it on, so when I get up, I just have to push a button, go into the kitchen and put the kettle on, by the time I come back with my cup of tea all of the day’s information is conveniently displayed right in front of me.

I appreciate this technology in our ever inter-connected and complex world, where inefficient information seeking behaviour can effectively reduce your productivity.  Even if that information seeking behaviour is just reading about your friend’s knitting project.

So, I encourage you to click on that little “RSS” button there on the right hand side of this page, and the efficiency of your everyday information seeking behaviour will be significantly improved.  Which is something to be proud of.

In other news I have been listening to the new Shabaz Palaces’s album “Black Up” non stop since yesterday and it is fucking off the hook and I highly recommend it.

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One thought on “better living through technology

  1. I have been partial to Google Reader for RSS for many years, due to the social element – and before that freaks you out, it’s content driven rather than all about the users who post, if that makes sense, ie. the discussion is about the blog posts rather than about how you failed your Composition 105 exam or your political opinions about stupid stuff. But Google Reader is going through some transitions right now so I would watch for a new thing called HiveMined.

    Anyway, that Raise High The Roof blog is awesome!

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