Having little time to follow the blogosphere and its crazy rhythms of publication is not a good enough excuse for not being up to date. This rings particularly true for me as a technical evangelist at IBM, and as someone who is deeply passionate about the development and the information technology world. The biggest challenge is to quickly and efficiently divide the wheat from the chaff or, in other words, filter out the noise from the overload of signals put out there. For me, feed readers are life savers, I couldn’t cope without them.
I recently adopted a setup that seems to be working particularly well. I purchased NetNewsWire for my Mac and FeedDemon for Windows, and automatically got a one-year subscription to the online premium service from the fine folks at newsgator. The two programs are a joy to use, especially for handling very large group of feeds in a short amount of time, as I often need to do. Each program automatically synchronizes with the newsgator service, therefore no matter which computer I’m using, I’m always dealing with the same folders, subscripted feeds and saved clipping. Sure, there are free services out there like Google Reader or Bloglines, but to me there is no comparison between the experience that I have when using a sluggish web interface and a rock solid, well designed desktop application. If I have the option, I’ll always choose the latter, especially since newsgator allows me to take advantage of a centralized repository of feeds from my desktop programs, just like as if I were using their online service through Firefox. For a few dollars, I got a setup that is working awesomely well for me and it’s saving me huge amounts of time. It also helped me to identify non-updated blogs, and those that I was no longer paying attention to, therein allowing me to reduce my over-all amount of feeds (granted with a conscious effort on my part) to a more manageable total of 160.
As mentioned above, my subscribed feeds are important to me, with a list that changes dynamically over time, as I add and remove entries. That said, I was looking at my Ruby and Rails folder when I decided to share my feeds with you. The list is understandably incomplete (after all, there are thousands of Ruby related blogs) and the presence of planets, aggregators and tags in bookmark services like del.icio.us, generate a few unavoidable duplicates. These are the Ruby/Rails blogs and sites that I currently subscribe to:
You can download the file Ruby-Rails.opml to easily import all of the above feeds into your own reader.
Since I’m sure there are plenty of other “must have” Ruby feeds and blogs that are not currently on my radar (no word of a lie, I’ve already added more since I put the list together), I openly invite you to write a small entry in your blog as well, and show us what feeds you subscribe to. Please link back to this original post, or I won’t be able to easily find your answer. Consider it a sort of Ruby and Rails feed survey.
And since we’re on the topic, and the amount of feeds that I follow is dramatically reduced now, I’d like to extend an invite for you to do the same thing with Python/Django, Haskell, and Objective-C, assuming you are into any of these communities respectively. Those are the languages that interest me the most and I’d like to start following a good selection of feeds on these topics. If you don’t wish to blog about it, or use the comment section below, you can always write me privately at acangianoATgmail.com, specifying if you are okay with me crediting your list to you. I’d like to collect and organize the most interesting ones in a “results” type of post.
I thank you in advance, as I think it’s an interesting “experiment” that can be quite useful, especially for those who are just starting to learn any of the languages above.
I sincerely welcome and appreciate your comments, whether in agreement or dissenting with my article. However, trolling will not be tolerated. Comments are automatically closed 15 days after the publication of each article.