Thursday, July 09, 2009

Txt Me When My Favorite Blog Updates? OMG!

I've now reached the point where I don't even check my RSS reader anymore because it's too overwhelming. With over 1000 unread items, I've just given up. And yet, I know I'm missing some great blog posts and unfortunately, when you miss the posts, you sometimes miss the great conversations too.

I'm guilty of relying on Twitter to alert me of new blog posts and yet I know I'm missing plenty of great posts. Using Twitter as an RSS aggregator is not the most efficient way to consume blog feeds anyway, in my opinion.

So, I know I need to trim my reader but there are a few blogs that I would really like to read right away when they update and I don't check blogs often enough to join in the conversations in a timely manner.

I was very excited today when I ran across Pingie! Pingie is an RSS to SMS solution and will send you a text message when the blog (whose atom feed you enter) updates with a new post. All you have to do is sign up, add your cellphone number then add the atom feed to the blog(s) you want alerts from. You get a 2 line text message with a weblink to the actual post so, if you're on a smartphone, you can read the post from your phone.

There's even a widget you can add to your own blog to allow others to subscribe on your own blog.

I love this idea because because not only will it help me stay on top of my favorite few, but parents can remain on top of class blogs more easily too. I already subscribed and got my first alert!


Theresa said...

This post gave me a BIG SMILE because I feel the same way about my RSS anxiety (added so many it is overwhelming) and the use of twitter to alert me to blog updates. Checking out the text alert right now!

Liz Kolb, Ph.D. said...

I Love Pingie---it is the best kept secret (until now!). I also use it for my favorite podcasts (like NPR's Digital Tech). Great post!

Dan Stucke said...

Have you tried using ? It uses postrank to judge the quality of each post in a feed and you can subscribe to just the most active posts from a blog (I think it measures it by tweets, comments, bookmarks etc).
Great for filtering down really active blogs into the more manageable :)

Riptide said...

Like Dan I also use AideRSS. They have a Firefox extension and a Greasemonkey script. I use the Greasemonkey script to bring the better posts to the top especially when I’m overwhelmed with so many unread items in feeder.


AideRSS for Google Reader

Lee Kolbert said...

Isn't it crazy that something that gives us pleasure also causes anxiety? Is it a sign of our fast paced world and SuperSizeMe society where we all must create and consume in mass quantities? Thanks for your comment.

I'll have to check out NPR's Digital Tech. Always learning... Thank you for visiting my blog :)

@Dan and @Rip
I've not tried AIDERSS but I have a problem with something that judges the quality of a post for me. I understand it as a solution that's better than just marking them all as unread, but I'm really looking for a solution where I can judge the quality for myself. Thanks for commenting, Guys!

IMC Guy said...

It might be valuable to simply click Mark All As Read and start over. I think it's great you can get these messages texted to you, but is it really that hard to check your reader once in a while. Perhaps you need to set up folders with the most important blog posts. That way, you can check out that folder on a daily basis and the other one when you get a chance. It might work.

Donelle said...

I hear you, girl! Feel the same way. I will have to check this out!

I know the reader is best, but I found that subscribing to a handful of blogs by email instead has worked well for me.

I loved the idea in the comments about the folders. I may need to "start over" too & reorganized my folders! So glad to find your blog. Will add it to my reader and will put it in the "Read Daily" folder. ;)

Students School said...

That's so true, I just had to trim down my RSS reads because its not even 'humanly' possible for me to read it.

Students School

Teach42 said...

VERY cool! Now the big challenge is.... limiting the number of pingle alerts you sign up for so you don't get overwhelmed by that as well!

Great tip tho, thanks for the heads up.

Robyn McMaster, PhD said...

Amazing that we both saw opportunity in Twitter as a learning tool. I was excited as I thought of ways it could enhance learning experiences for students as they dig deeply into topics.

Glad to see you do this research to find out more. Curiosity takes us in different directions. ;-)

I noted that quite a few university profs are using this. I'm glad of that!