Posted by Jennifer Stein on January 23, 2012
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m an avid RSS user, and that I use Google Reader to manage and consume all my incoming content. I like using an RSS reader to centralize my reading, for a variety of reasons, including:
- I know I won’t miss any new posts from sites/blogs I feel are important
- It keeps content out of my e-mail inbox
- It is a “one stop shop” for all my information
- The posts don’t expire or get hidden “below the fold”
- It’s easy to gauge how much new content is waiting to be read
- [Specifically for Google Reader] My reading progress is stored “in the cloud” and therefore switching between devices is seamless
- I can read in any order I choose – reverse chronological; by topic; or by specific feed
To me, all these and many other advantages make an RSS reader (whichever one you select) an ideal way to consume the deluge of new content that gets created every day. That being said, however, if you follow a LOT of feeds, even the best reader may feel overwhelming.
A recent article from Lifehacker
offers some tips on taming the potentially overwhelming nature of a tool that could let you add a huge number of information feeds, in response to a reader question:
I subscribe to a lot of newsfeeds, which makes me feel like I’m on top of everything on the internet—except now I’m feeling overwhelmed with all the folders and hundreds of feeds and constant flood of posts in my newsreader. I still want access to all the news and information, but what can I do to better organize it so I stay sane?
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Posted by Jennifer Stein on October 19, 2011
A recent article on The Atlantic cited a study by Google Anthropologist Dan Russell which showed that 90% of users don’t know how to use the Ctrl-F function.
If you’re one of those 90%, you may not know that the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-F, in almost any Web browser (and, incidentally, most other applications including Word & Excel), brings your cursor to a small search box which allows you to type in a word or phrase – and if that word or phrase appears in the web page you’re currently viewing, it will be highlighted on your screen. You can usually use buttons provided beside the “find in page” search box to move forward and backward to the next or previous mention of your searched word or phrase.
“90 percent of the US Internet population does not know that. This is on a sample size of thousands,” Russell said. “I do these field studies and I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sat in somebody’s house as they’ve read through a long document trying to find the result they’re looking for. At the end I’ll say to them, ‘Let me show one little trick here,’ and very often people will say, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been wasting my life!’” [Via The Atlantic]
Like many of the other sites that cited this story (and another (Mozilla) who contributed similar evidence to this discussion), I was genuinely astounded by this statistic. As a heavy web content consumer, it would be next-to-impossible to get through a day without using Ctrl-F. If I’m seeking a specific piece of information on a text-heavy website, I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of time it would take to locate it if I had to scan manually through all of the content.
Although Ctrl-F is an everyday shortcut for me, perhaps there are other “obvious” browsing tools that may not be so obvious to everyone. Have you had an “aha” moment about a simple tool you know have adopted into regular use? Have you had to teach someone (a colleague? Relative?) about Ctrl-F or something similar? I’d be curious to hear your experiences – hit the comments!
Ctrl-F functionality in Firefox. Most browsers work the same way with slight differences in location of the "Find in Page" box.
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Posted by Jennifer Stein on October 4, 2010
An excerpt from part 4 of a series by Susan Lipsey, on the Dysart & Jones blog:
“I had the opportunity recently to run a comparison between Google News results with those of other private vendor news sources. There is often a debate within organizations looking for cost-effective processes to obtain news content free of charge versus paying for content from third party vendors. My weeklong test demonstrated that Google News missed pertinent content more than 50 per cent of the time, rendering its usability low for media monitoring purposes as we could not guarantee our clients that they would be aware of all relevant competitive intelligence and/or industry developments.”
Read the rest of Susan’s article at Guest Blog Post #4: Good enough? | Dysart & Jones.
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