Do you have a specific set of webpages that you browse to every day?
I do. I used to have all of these sites bookmarked and placed into specific news folders in Firefox or Safari. Right-clicking on a folder would present the option to ‘Open All in Tabs’ and all of my favorites would be right there for me to filter through. This was easy to setup and I had all of my regular pages a couple of clicks away. This system, while it works, has a couple of flaws, the most annoying of which is you have to actually browse to the page in order to determine if it has been updated or not.
Recently I discovered the power of RSS along with RSS readers. This changes the ‘pull’ system I was used into a much more manageable and easily aggregated ‘push’ system. Now, when I want to check the news, I go to Google Reader and all of these favorites are organized by tags. Each tag shows how many unread stories I have right at the top and clicking on a tag gives the aggregated feed with my unread stories on top, making it easy to see what’s new.
Why Google Reader?
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Google’s RSS reader is not the easiest to use. However, once you get a feel for how it works, it’s much better then most (all?) of the other RSS readers out there on the Mac. The 2 that come closest are NetNewsWire and NewsFire, both of which have issues.
NetNewsWire offers syncing with Google Reader, which is nice. However, the interface is pretty bad and I’ve heard some horror stories about syncing with Google Reader.
NewsFire, on the other hand, has an excellent interface, which makes it easy to use. However, it doesn’t offer any syncing capabilities. This is a deal-breaker for me as I browse the Interwebs both at work as well as on 2 machines at home.
Sticking with Google Reader
If you are someone who generally browses on 1 machine, I would highly suggest NewsFire. Until NewsFire adds some kind of syncing support (hopefully with Google Reader), I’m sticking with Google Reader, which isn’t a bad thing.