With so much information available from the ‘Net, how does one keep up with it all?
Well, you may have noticed at the bottom of your Spaces pages (in Preview mode) and other Spaces that there’s a red button labelled RSS
stands for Really Simple Syndication
and what it allows you to do is to get just the latest bits of information that’s been added to a site. For example, you can find out the latest headlines of news items added to the ABC News site
The biggest problem has been how to bring all these "headlines" into one place for easy reference. There are lots of pieces of software around – some free – called News Aggregators. This type of software enables us to subscribe to RSS feeds from a number of different sites and when we’re online, the aggregator will go around to all those sites we’ve subscribed to and check if there is any new content available (via the site’s RSS feed).
However a software aggregator doesn’t quite fit the bill – webDotWiz has tried one and can never remember to start it up when he goes online. As well, it’s got a whole lot of subscriptions that he doesn’t want and he can’t be bothered deleting them all.
So some Microsoft people have been experimenting with a site called Start.com
. Here you can add your own content via RSS feeds from whichever sites you choose. The interface is minimalist – no fancy graphics taking up space – it’s just got the items from each feed listed.
The second part of keeping up to date with content is to read it when you want to. Start.com does this by enabling us to stay at the Start.com
site by loading a page over the top of our list of content sites and this page contains the content we want to read about.
Developers have been invited to develop Gadgets which are specialised applications to add content at Start.com
in an innovative manner. Already you can have content such as weather forecasts and stock quotes. Watch for more ideas to come to fruition in the future.
Go to Start.com
and add feeds from some of your friends’ Spaces to see how it all works. Yes, you can use the gleam on MSN Messenger to see when your friends have updated their Space – using Start.com
will enable you so see their five most recent blog entries. Have fun!