After James’ post on some of the feeds in his RSS list, I decided I would keep the momentum going with a little show and tell of my own. As the managing editor of MakeUseOf, I keep on top of a huge number of official RSS feeds for various websites so I can track their news and announcements of new features so I can plan MUO coverage (11 of which belong to Google alone).
So if we remove all those ones, which other ones live inside my Google Reader and take up a big chunk of my day reading through them all? Here’s a small selection.
Which self-respecting geek and office cubicle worker wouldn’t want to start their day by reading Dilbert? A firm favourite everywhere, every office worker across the world can probably identify with some aspect of Dilbert, whether it’s his pointless mind-numbing job, his crappy company products, his lazy or psychotic co-workers, his stupid Pointy-Haired Boss issuing directives or trying to be “helpful”, or his dog who seems to pop up at every available opportunity, whether it’s as an absurdly highly-paid consultant at Dilbert’s company or an IT call centre operator giving out bad information.
The Dilbert website is very impressive. As well as being able to subscribe to Dilbert by RSS or email, you can also search by keyword for a particular strip, embed a strip on your website, print out a strip and even better, you can take part in a mashup where you can write the last box of the strip yourself and submit it to see if you are funnier than Scott Adams.
This is one that I have only recently got into, but I went through the archives in one setting and trust me, I hadn’t laughed so much in ages. Subscribing to this one is a no-brainer if you have a slightly weird and twisted sense of humour. However be warned that sometimes the humour can stray into adult NSFW language.
Created by Matthew Inman, each Oatmeal strip focuses on one particular subject such as “why I’d rather be punched in the testicles than call customer service” and “this guy sent me an email so I decided to grade it“. However, the two that ensured my undying loyalty forever were 10 Reasons To Avoid Talking On The Phone and Why It’s Better To Pretend You Don’t Know Anything About Computers. A definite classic and one that threatens to topple Dilbert from my number one humour spot in my RSS reader. I recommend you do what I did and browse the archives. You’ll be glad you did.
Not Always Right
It’s a collection of user-submitted entries from people who work with the public. Each one is an alleged encounter with a customer who thinks they are right but obviously, judging by the conversation, they are two sandwiches short of a picnic. Most of them are extremely funny and are quite often a welcome diversion if you need a couple of minutes break from what you’re doing.
Bet you knew I would include this one, eh? Combined with Dilbert and Oatmeal, xkcd helps to give me a good dose of humour. I don’t always understand the humour mind you, but more often than not, Randall Munroe absolutely nails it and creates an absolute classic. Where does he get his ideas from?
OK and now we move onto the tech feeds. We can’t laugh all day you know….
Wired Gadget Lab
I certainly don’t have the money to buy most of the cool gadgets featured by Gadget Lab but it’s always nice to dream and it’s always good to see what’s been invented next.
But they don’t just focus on the next gadget you should buy. They have also done fascinating feature articles such as Microsoft’s research and development on cutting edge technologies. Microsoft inventing a holodeck? No doubt they would call it Windows Live Hotdeck and when you want to make a hologram, you get the Blue Screen Of Death. Let’s hope that if Bill manages to make a holodeck that the USS Enterprise gets theirs from another supplier.
This one comes courtesy of Time magazine and I have found it to be a rich source of tech news stories. These stories are broken down into 5 categories (see above screenshot) and then each category has numerous sub-categories. It’s very easy to get sucked into this website and click from one page to the next. Where did those 2 hours go?
It really is a very well done site by Time and is one of my first stops of the day to see what’s new in tech. With the usual presences on the mainstream social networks, it’s very easy to keep on top of what they are offering.
PDA Digital Content
PDA Digital Content is a section of the UK’s Guardian newspaper and it continually comes up with some cracking good stuff such as the weekly Viral Video Chart, the Tech Weekly podcast and the PDA Newsbucket (which gives you numerous links to extremely interesting tech stories on blogs). The reporters on PDA write very well in a very engaging style and they are also fun to follow on Twitter.
What the Register lacks in visual design, it more than makes up for in interesting, useful and funny content. This UK / US blog covers a wide variety of subjects in their own dry humorous way that every tech person will find interesting, as well as a section for off-beat news, including this story which came out today of a woman who was offered an iPad in a McDonalds parking lot and ended up paying for a piece of wood with the Apple logo on the back.
Wired Threat Level
If you appreciate detailed well-written articles about privacy, security and crime incidents then you will like Threat Level. Produced by Wired magazine, the issues raised are often thought-provoking and sometimes quite scary, when you find out what went on. A definite read if you want to be more aware of what goes on out there in the world of hacking and cybercrime. Quite eye-opening on occasion.
And before I finish, I should at least give an honorary mention to Boing Boing, which I have been subscribed to for as long as I can remember. As well as having a bit of a heart flutter for Xeni Jardin, I love Boing Boing for consistently coming up with the goods and always finding something to pique my interest.
And I just love the name of the site.
So there you go, a small selection of my feeds. Do you subscribe to any of these? If so, what is your opinion of them? Would you recommend any others? And am I right in thinking that Xeni Jardin is a babe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.