Keeping up with blogs: using RSS feeds and Firefox’ Live Bookmarks
Until recently, I didn’t use RSS feeds, but decided to look into it further as the number of blogs and websites I’ve been trying to keep up with has grown exponentially in the past year. I could probably devote 3-4 hours daily doing nothing but checking for updates and reading blogs. Until recently, I did this the old-fashioned way – by going through my bookmarks and visiting site after site. Not every site updates frequently and this was inefficient use of time. So I turned to Firefox’ Live Bookmarks.
A quick search for ‘live’ in the Firefox help file produced a basic definition of what is a Live Bookmark:
A special type of bookmark that acts as a folder to contain the links in a feed. You can create a Live Bookmark by visiting a site with a feed, clicking on the Live Bookmark icon in the Location Bar, and selecting the feed you wish to use.
That sounded like I would be able to see links to updated site content, which would be a lot easier than going to each site and seeing what’s new. I immediately tested it with our own site. Mousing over the orange radio-wave RSS feed symbol in Firefox’s address bar showed a little notification to subscribe to the page:
Clicking it resulted in the Add Live Bookmark dialog. The Created In box will show the most recent places you’ve saved a bookmark, which is pretty convenient when you want to save a bunch of bookmarks into one folder. The bottom part with the extended folder view won’t appear unless you click the little arrow circled in red; you can use this to select a different folder or create a new one. You can edit the bookmark name if you want as well.
After saving, you can check your bookmarks and voila: a list of our most recent posts.
I did this for every site I visit regularly and it’s incredibly convenient. So convenient, that I’ll ignore a site that does not have an RSS feed unless the content is exceptional. Setting up a Live Bookmark for a site’s RSS feeds takes seconds – probably much less time than waiting for a site to load. Now I check the Live Bookmark, look for new posts & articles and read the ones that catch my interest. Hope this helps!