follow-up: how not to drown

I recently asked about how you keep up (or don't keep up) with your reading online. Work was completely dead this weekend, so I spent time fiddling with different options.

After some frustration and an email flurry with AW1L, I discovered why no Canadian readers mentioned Live.com. It's not available in Canada!

Live is Microsoft's new home page and aggregator. When AW1L showed it to me on his computer (in New York), I was salivating. I was also afraid to try it, since I feared the start page in itself would become a giant time-sucking machine. (I remember when I was afraid to get online for the same reason.) But I needn't have feared. Apparently when anyone with a Canadian IP address goes to Live, all they get is a standard search-engine page, with no option to personalize it. Boooo!!! on Microsoft for such UScentricity!

I also ruled out a few things, including Google Reader. I realize what I want isn't a feed aggregator, but a personalized start page, which might or might not contain a feed reader.

I'm going to try iGoogle for starters. The default settings contain a lot of commercial crap like CNN and Joke of the Day, but if you look a little deeper, it's completely personalizeable. (Is that a word?) You can choose a theme, drag-and-drop widgets, and plug in any websites you want. I've read there were some problems early on (of course), but supposedly those have been ironed out.

I'm still concerned that I'll spend waste far too much time dialing it in, but right now I actually have some time. It might prove worth it in the long run.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about this whole phenomenon. A mere 15 years ago, who could envisioned all of us writing, and reading, keeping each other informed, all the citizen journalists of the blogosphere? If somehow you were prescient enough to have envisioned this world 15 years ago, then make it 20. I think it's incredible.

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