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Twitter – I can’t Tweet it Anymore!

I think I am given up on Twitter, I just can’t deal with it anymore. I really got into it when it first came out but lately I just can’t deal with it any longer.

The reasons are pretty much the same as everyone else who is giving it up.

– not enough real news, I find myself staying updated just by using my RSS feeds. Yes maybe on twitter, if you catch it, you will know about something right away but I don’t keep after it enough to even worry about that.

– I have gone nearly 3 weeks if not more without starting up TweetDeck and I can honestly say I do not miss it at all.

– It started to get very overwhelming when logging on, I just don’t have the time or desire to keep up with it.

– Twitter is becoming more of marketing tool then what I originally was using it for, a news source. This probably works well for some, not me.

– People are just following to get more followers!

I began to think that I need to be more selective in who I follow. I don’t follow everyone that follows me. I really only follow technology, nascar and the outdoors. I probably need to narrow that down to just news sources and tweets that I find valuable and stop following everyone and everything that has to do with the topics I listed. However, don’t RSS feeds really accomplish this as well? And aren’t a lot of tweets links to websites? Don’t RSS feeds accomplish this?

Also it seems that those who are on twitter are also on Facebook and post the same thing to both sites. I don’t find Facebook as overwhelming as Twitter and Facebook provides a better venue for discussing a topic with others who are also interested in the same topic.

How do you feel about twitter?

Staying In The Loop – How I Do It

I am often asked the question of how do I stay “in the loop” or rather up to date with technology. While my method may not work for you it definitely is the best method for me. With that said I have come up with a list of “how I stay in the loop”.

It’s rare for me to surf the web. I subscribe to RSS Feeds. If a web site doesn’t provide an RSS feed then I don’t consider that site a valuable resource and I will probably never visit it again. I normally do not bookmark web sites. It comes down to me not having the time or no real desire to go looking for the latest and greatest in technology by surfing web sites, I prefer it to come to me. This is done of course with RSS feeds.

1. I manage my RSS feeds using NetNewsWire on my MacBook, and I synchronize my feeds with NewsGator. Could be via a web browser or the NetNewsWire application on my MacBook or iPod Touch. My feeds are synchronized. NewsGator also has a Windows client called FeedDemon.

2. My process for sorting through the new posts is pretty simple. Again this is what works for me. In the morning over a cup of coffee I go through my RSS subscriptions on my iPod Touch. What I am doing is filtering out the posts that don’t interest me, if something interests me I use the “add to clippings” option in NetNewsWire.

3. After I am done with that I then fire up Twitterrific on my iPod Touch. I read through the tweets and the ones that interest me I add to my favorites. Usually I am just finishing up my morning coffee when I finish with Twitterrific.

4. When I get to the office I open up NetNewsWire on my MacBook and it synchronizes with NewsGator thus getting the new postings I clipped using my iPod Touch.
I will also open up TweetDeck on my MacBook, this of course gets the tweets I added to my favorites when using Twitterrific.

5. Throughout the day I am reading the newest posts that show up in NetNewsWire as well the tweets in TweetDeck. I read some of them right away, others I add to the clippings folder in NetNewsWire or add to my Twitter favorites using TweetDeck.

6. Typically at lunch time I catch up on all that I have clipped in NetNewsWire or what I have added to my favorites on Twitter. I will also do this again later in the afternoon.

7. I also subscribe to a few podcasts via iTunes. The shorter podcasts, like GeekBrief, I watch/listen to right away. The longer podcasts, like MacBreak Weekly or BowCast, I will listen to while working. I like using the Notes application on the iPod Touch if I hear something of interest while I am listening to a podcast.

8. During the evening at home I am constantly checking NetNewsWire and Twitterrific on my iPod Touch for new information. When something catches my eye I clip it or favorite it for later.

9. I am also a big user of Evernote, if I find a product or solution that I like I will add it to Evernote. This keeps everything in one place and organized. Not to mention, Evernote is synchronized on every device I use!. I am going to a separate blog posting on how I use Evernote.

On weekends and holidays this all goes out the window. If we are home I may have my MacBook turned on so throughout the day I go and check NetNewsWire and TweetDeck. Typically I just leave them both running. If I know I may not be using the MacBook much then I don’t leave NetNewsWire or TweetDeck open and do the clip and favorite thing on my iPod touch.

Of course all my RSS feeds are not technology related. I do have a few NASCAR and Outdoor feeds I subscribe too!

Like I said this way may not be perfect, may not be ideal but it’s what works best for me.

How do you stay “in the loop” with technology or any other interest you may have?

How to squeeze the best out of FREE NetNewsWire

Since I just started using NetNewsWire, quite a few others probably have as well, figured I would pass this along.

How to squeeze the best out of FREE NetNewsWire: “

NetNewsWire

A day before Newsgator made their RSS Suite totally FREE, Amit did a review of Newsgator’s FeedDemon (Windows RSS Feed Reader), which got me thinking about NetNewsWire. Let me give you a brief about my RSS Feed Reader usage before suggesting ‘How to squeeze the best out of FREE NetNewsWire’.

I have been using RSS Feed Readers in a way or the other ever since the hay days of the blogging revolution in the early 2000s. While on Windows, I graduated to a full fledged RSS Reader with Nick Bradbury’s FeedDemon ever since its very early days. Bradbury Software, Nick’s company that made FeedDemon was acquired by NewsGator Technologies in May 2005 (I think Nick works with Newsgator at present). My FeedDemon license was alive in all those acquisitions, upgrades and I was a happy user of FeedDemon all along.

The Apple Mac and NetNewsWire

During summer, 2006 I got converted and amongst all other important Mac softwares – RSS Feed Reader was also one of my primary App. I did an install-test study of many RSS Feed Readers before taking the final decision. NetNewsWire was my ultimate choice after testing it for almost 3 weeks. It was however not free then but was worth every penny. (Note: I installed and used most the RSS Readers for almost a month to study them.)

With the short story above, I’m pretty sure you must have a vague idea that I’m like one of you – a regular Internet guy – who reads lots of RSS Feeds every day. Thus, I’m pretty confident that I can tell you ‘How to squeeze the best out of FREE NetNewsWire.

Tweak, Tweak, Tweak

Tweaking of apps to give you the best result, best output and best usage is a gradual process. Never stop tweaking, never stop experimenting with permutations and combinations of various options and preferences. Here, let me summarize various settings which have worked good for me so far. I urge you to try them, enhance them and change them to suit you best. So, let’s start tweaking – Open up the Preferences.

Internet is still best with small things

However fast your internet connection bandwidth may be, on the Internet it is alway a good idea to have things in their small version (if available) – smaller image size, smaller css files, smaller and quicker downloads. The same applies to anything that interact with the Internet constantly – NetNewsWire is not an exception. Change the Preferences in NetNewsWire to let it do things quicker, with lesser resource and to give you the quickest response possible.

Preferences > General > Reading

NetNewsWire - Preferences - General - Reading

  • You do not need to read changes to an article, unless you were following the topic and if you were following it then you would have flag it or clipped it. However, highlighting it is good just in case you have free time to laze around and happen to read old feeds again.
  • Show only 10 Items per page for the fast view while in Combined View mode.
  • You don’t really need to check for software updates. You’ll definitely come to know of updates if there is one sooner than later and you don’t need to be the first top users at all. Not just for NetNewsWire, I apply this rule to all Apps. See, squeeze out every ounce of delay from an App.

Preferences > General > Archiving

NetNewsWire - Preferences - General - Archiving

  • Honestly, I never needed to archive feeds. What is Google for? Search there and if you don’t remember the keywords – it definitely is not that important. Nonetheless, you might just do a monthly HTML archive for keep-sake if you are really inclined to.
  • 7 days is enough to keep feeds in NetNewsWire. I suggest changing this to about 30 days for those who are average to moderate users.

Preferences > Browsing >Behavior

NetNewsWire - Preferences - General - Archiving

  • It is quicker to stay at a single location to do multiple actions. So, browsing inside NetNewsWire is a faster way (Open Links in > NetNewsWire) and of course, you can jump out if an article needs more attention or you’ll spend more time analyzing it.
  • Oh! yes, do ‘Open Links in Background’ and avoid the wasteful time due to distraction from opened tabs.
  • Finally, you’d want to return to the news item when the tab is closed.

The News Items and Web Pages are best left as it is, nothing much going on there.

You can skip the other 3 setting preferences too – Colors, Fonts, Posting. They’ve nothing to do with speed or optimization. However, you might like to see which font suits you best and which size is best for your layout (screen size ).

Preferences > Downloading > Feeds

NetNewsWire - Preferences - Downloading - Feeds

Yes, the ‘minimum 30 minutes feed refresh’ limitation of NetNewsWire can be a disappointment for some people. However, with my experience I can guarantee that anything frequent than that will drastically reduce your work-productivity. A strong suggestion would be to increase the feed refresh time if you wish to get more work done and less distraction with an ‘info-overload’.

  • An hourly refreshment of your subscription should do ‘more than enough justice’ to be on top of the news happening around your topic. Personally, I’ve increased it from my frenzy 30 minutes updates to a nominal ‘2 hours’ update frequency.
  • Reduce the concurrent downloads to just about ‘5′. Of course, I’m on a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro with just 2GB of RAM. Higher end Macs can increase that to about ‘10′.

Well, you don’t really need to download enclosures. But again if you’re an avid podcast listener (I’m not one), you can let it automatically add podcasts to iTunes.

Preferences > Downloading > Feeds

NetNewsWire - Preferences - Downloading - Feeds

  • You DO NOT need to sync (most of the times) if you use a single computer or a laptop. If you want to sync between your office and home, think again – Do you really want to disturb your family life. Sync only if you really need to.

Tips & Tricks

NetNewsWire UI

I don’t really like ‘Sort by Last Update’ more because I like things the way I set them. So, if ‘Sort by Last Update’, the way last feeds are on top, so be it and stick to it. In order to set few priority feeds (Sorted by Name), I setup folder names starting with Numbers (in my case)

  1. Smart Folders
  2. Hot Feeds
  3. My Feeds
  4. Statistics
  5. Tags

etc.

This way, the feeds that I frequent most will always be on the top and I can read just that when I don’t want to scroll down. The Smart Lists allows me to look for my favorite keywords and other criteria-based results from my feeds even if I don’t really go and read all individual feeds. Clippings and Flags allow me to bookmark feeds which I can get back later.

The ‘Post to Del.icio.us’ is another awesome tool to make the best of NetNewsWire. However, take not that if you post directly from the feeds, the feed url will be bookmarked (for instance the feedburner url). So, let the feed open up in a new tab and post it from the tab to bookmarked the actual Web URL.

Did I forgot to tell you to take advantage of the Wide-Screen Layout option if you are on a Wide-Screen computer. It has the best viewing experience.

Keyboard Shortcuts Download

NetNewsWire Keyboard Shortcuts

I’ve done a printable Keyboard Shortcuts for NetNewsWire to help you further enhance your RSS Reading habits. Download, Print and Pin it up for about a week or so and you’ll get used to the keys.

  • Printable PDF
  • iWork’s Numbers
  • MS Office Excel (this is the exported version from Numbers)

What about Google Reader users? Google Reader is awesome!

I did flirted with Google Reader and at its current version, I won’t hesitate to say that it is one hell of an awesome Web Application. I’ll be coming up with an article on my experience with Google Reader. I’ll also do a comparison matrix of NetNewsWire and Google Reader that will help you choose which one to use.

elsewhere

Note: I had over 1,000+ feeds but was able to reduce it to 765 at the time of writing this article.

digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/apple/How_to_squeeze_the_best_out_of_FREE_NetNewsWire_Ode_to_Apple’;

(Via Ode to Apple.)

Getting RSS Feeds From MacMail into NetNewsWire

Yesterday NewsGator made NetNewsWire a free download for the MAC. To find out more about NetNewsWire go here

We all know how much I love RSS feeds. I used NewsGator when it first came out a few years ago for Windows and have used it with Outlook. So naturally I just had to download NetNewsWire and give it a try.

I assumed that NetNewsWire would be able to import my existing feeds out of MacMail. Well I didn’t see this option anyplace nor did I see it mentioned. I then thought well maybe I can export out of MacMail…NOPE.

I did some searching on the web and found a few postings where folks had almost the same problem. One person was trying to export the feeds out of NetNewsWire and get them into MacMail. The post had two solutions. Run a php script that would turn the NetNewsWire OPML file into a bookmark file that can be imported into Safari. The other was being able to drag the subscription from NetNewsWire right into MacMail.

So, I tried to drag from MacMail into NetNewsWire and no can do.

No way was I going to manually enter each feed into NetNewsWire, MacMail doesn’t provide an EASY way of viewing the address of the feed. Besides typing them in manually is so non-geek.

This is what I did. This may not be the best way, most practical or whatever. I don’t care it worked for me and was a lot quicker then trying code something or keep on searching..etc.

1. Navigate to the RSS folder located under users\your user name\library\mail\rss

2. For each RSS feed you have in MacMail you will have a folder. Open the folder and then open the Info.plist file. I used TextEdit.

3. This file is an XML file, look for the string element. Within the tag you will see the URL for the feed.

4. Highlight only the address and while holding down the CTRL key click on the address

5. Select the first option Open URL from the pop up menu.

If NetNewsWire (or any other reader) is configured as your default reader you will then be prompted to add the feed to the reader. You would need to repeat the steps for each folder you have.

If anyone knows of a better way or a utility that does it I am interested in hearing about it. Of course it would be a hell of a lot easier if NetNewsWire could import the feeds from MacMail or if MacMail could export the feeds into OPML.

Mac Mail + RSS Feeds + PodTech

I am a HUGE fan of RSS feeds I prefer subscribing to feeds over visiting a web site for updates any day.The computer I use the most  is my MacBook.  I upgraded to Leopard, it’s AWESOME, but one thing that is leaving a bad taste in mouth are RSS feeds that contain video’s.This isn’t limited to PodTech, a couple other feeds I subscribe to are doing this as well.   I mention PodTech because the videos are the largest.  When I click on the feed it starts to  download the video!  this totally slows down Mac Mail.  Slows down is an understatement.  I cannot navigate to any other message until the download is complete!  This is becoming really annoying.   I subscribe to other feeds that LINK to the video.  I think is this a much better approach as it doesn’t “lock up” the mail client and gives the USER the OPTION of actually wanting to download the video.  Anyone else having this problem?   Or know of a work around to stop this?  Other then not subscribing to the feed!