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Wolfville, Nova Scotia


Changing the Face of the Web

Chris Campbell

It's rare that something indispensible is added to your toolkit after a number of years. It is even rarer when an application can change the way you do things. The Web browser did that and now I'm thinking that NetNewsWire has done that for news and 'blogs for me. When RSS feed first came out I thought that they were cool and I wanted to use them, but never got around it. Meerkat did (and still does) a great job, but I was too lazy to set up my own mobs to use it more efficiently. In the last few months it seems that many things have clicked into place: the explosion of 'blogs into the more mainstream consciousness, the proliferation of feeds, and Brent Simmons releasing NetNewsWire Lite. I was trying to explain to Carolyn how much I love NetNewsWire, but I said the best way to figure it out is to use it and she did and understood. So now a big chunk of my online reading happens through the RSS feeds that are aggregated by NetNewsWire Lite. It lets me spend more time getting to the good stuff and less time surfing and more time reading what I'm interested in. There are only two applications that are constantly running on my PowerBook: Mail and NetNewsWire.
I started thinking about this more when I read Meg Hourihan's O'Reillynet Megnut column "Dial Up Revelations" where she talked about using dialup while in France and how NetNewsWire Lite helped to ease the low-bandwidth pain. The other encouraging thing that I took from her writing was that the sites that work well and translate to various devices are the ones that are standards compliant. It's an exciting if only more people would write great software like NetNewsWire and create standards-compliant web sites...