I'd abandoned RSS (a widely-supported syndication format for de-duplicating and syncing news stories and other content to your computer without having to go to websites) entirely a while ago in favor of just following the shorter posts on Twitter instead. — It's too easy with RSS to over-subscribe to too many feeds and not be able to keep up with them all… especially when sites are publishing differing volumes of stories of varying quality and interest.
After this, my Twitter feed became a bit of a “firehose” of content… and, while that's great for discovering new things at random, there are a few key websites that I simply don't want to miss a single post from. These websites in particular I'd find myself feverishly checking throughout the day out of habit in addition to Twitter. — Was it perhaps time to consider an RSS reader once again, but this time with an extremely conservative number of feeds on it? 🤔
I decided to give it a try again with Google Reader, and overall, since that manages stories being read or unread no matter what device I'm accessing it from, it's way more efficient for me! — You're never going to be stuck skimming through duplicates, and having only a few feeds is totally manageable.
Making it better with the Reeder app
I also installed Reeder
for Mac (UPDATE [2013/08/19]: The Mac version is currently discontinued, so try ReadKit instead!) and iPhone. — These are two separate apps that require a purchase, but they both sync fluidly with Google Reader. I was skeptical of buying them without first trying them, but they ended up being worth it.
The Mac version has one feature that I particularly wanted… which is a red number badge on the Mac OS X “Dock” with a configurable refresh time interval for when the app is not in the foreground. — Unfortunately, though, their iOS version doesn't currently support fullscreen on iPad, which kind of sucks. It's just the iPhone version and scale, so it's not really an ideal graphical or reading experience when on a larger mobile screen. 😕
These apps are kind of like my “News Inbox” on my devices now, and located right next to my email client on each. 🤩