Monday, June 11, 2007

Ugly technology

Sometimes technology is just plain butt-ugly. I was pretty jazzed about the rss assignment. I read a couple of online newspapers everyday and I check a couple of my favorite blogs, too. So I thought, "How efficient!"

What a disappointment! I'm really visually oriented and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the feeds to my news and blog sites stripped them of personality and rendered them into vanilla and pale blue homogeneity. And, considering that I had to sign into my rss feeder account and then click on the feed of my choice, I can't say that the whole thing was that efficient, either. I keep my favorite web sites bookmarked, so it's just not that much trouble to get to them quickly.

I love the look of the New York Times online version and I love the photojournalism and documentary photography that help add power and impact to a story. I love arriving at my favorite blogs and figuratively stepping into a personalized space the way I would enter a friend's front door and feel right at home in a place they created and which reflects their unique personality.

So, while I can imagine a life so hectic that keeping up with online information would be difficult without the help of an rss feeder, I would never, ever choose that kind of life! I'll continue to enjoy the images, color and design of my favorite sites.

As for UA Online, well, again, I thought, "How efficient!" And for the most part it was. I will probably use this site for employment concerns. But imagine having to enable pop-ups on your browser to read your email. I don't think so! Not when I was so grateful the technology was created to disable them.

As for the picture? Beats me what function this rusty, crusty piece of machinery once had. But, in 1980, it and some cracked cellar walls were all that was left of a home that once perched on the bluff at Ninilchik, Alaska. It's ugly technology, for sure, but far more picturesque than rss feeders!


Paul Adasiak said...

Peggy, I agree that RSS readers seem to lack the personality and variety of the websites whose contents they cull. But the drawback of using bookmarks instead (or the plus of using a feed reader) is that, with bookmarks, you have to visit the site every day to make sure you're not missing something. Bloglines, on the other hand, catches old posts (at least up to 200) and saves them for your perusal. It's really nice to be able to take a few days away from my computer (delirium tremens notwithstanding) and find that the articles I've "missed" haven't been missed at all.

MizMagee said...

I do check the New York Times online every day, just as I read the local paper every night. It's that important to me. I imagine I could search the NYT archives for an outdated article of interest, although I've never done that. As for blogs, well, I just scroll down or click on "older posts." I've never missed a post. I haven't found any of this inconvenient, but RSS works for a lot of people, so I'm not knocking it in general. I just think it's inelegant and I don't personally find it useful.