I'm a geek. I get that. I've built computers, networks, installed and uninstalled more than my share of software and have owned more cameras and gadgets that my wife would like to think about. There was a time when there were no fewer that five running computers in my home (a home in which only two of us lived). So from time to time, I get questions about where I learned to build a media server, or how did I ever find that video online, or what's your favorite new app for the iOS or Android (those are mobile systems that run software for the uninitiated). So that what this series of blog posts are about: websites I use, gadgets I like, and programs I love. I'll tell you what they are why they are apart of my everyday life.
I'll start with my favorite news aggregator. If you're like me...and you probably aren't...you check handful of sites every day for news and entertainment. And if you're like me, it can really get out of hand. I'll list a few of the sites of which I would peruse daily:
- ESPN.com - NFC West Blog (for all my NFC West news)
- U.S.S. Mariner (news and opinions on my favorite AAA team: The Seattle Mariners.
- Deadspin.com (Cause, like they say, 'ESPN's anchors are too perky for me in the morning)
- Aperture Users Network
- Digital Photography School
- The Unofficial Apple Weblog
- /Film (lots of news on films without all the Hollywood BS)
- Blogs of all my friends and family
- Alan Sepinwall's blog and TV reviews on hitfix.com
- FAIL Blog (for laughs)
Ok...so that's literally like 10% of the sites I like. It would take me all day to read and digest all the content that's written across all my stops on the information superhighway. That's where Google Reader comes in. I heart Google Reader. It's my homepage. One one page I get headlines and opinion and nonsense that updates in realtime.
And get this, it handles all my Craigslist searches for double-baby-strollers, camera lenses, generators and my lifelong search for a 1:1 replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite. See that? When someone posts that they're selling a 70-200/2.8 lens on Craigslist in Portland...it updates immediately to Google Reader. How cool is that? It works for podcasts, it works for fantasy sports, it works for evvvverything.
I can press one key and bounce from headline to headline. If I want to read the whole story, I can. If I don't, no big deal, I'll move to the next one. If I want to mark for reading later, I can. If I want to e-mail it or tweet it, I can do that too. Every morning I've got somewhere between 90 and 175 stories waiting for me like a custom-built newspaper.
So there, if you find yourself flitting about from site to site to catch up on news, or you continually check a blog only to be disappointed that author STILL hasn't posted, you should really check out Google Reader. It's free and easy and all you need is a Gmail account. And you really should have one of those by now.