As part of my current Facebook hiatus, I have gone back to something I really enjoyed before I started spending far too much time on the social media site: reading blogs via an RSS reader and sharing my favorite stories with others.

My current RSS reader of choice is Fever, a self-hosted feed reader with a nice web and mobile web experience. Reeder 2 on iOS also supports Fever for those that like using an app instead of the mobile web interface. For me, using a reader makes it a lot easier to keep up with important sites and news outlets without having to filter through the noise of Twitter or Facebook. I also like that I have access to Fever’s database because I host it.

Fever includes sharing options within the web interface for Email, Delicious, Instapaper, and Twitter, but that still does not provide the ability for me to keep track of every link I have shared like Google Reader used to do. That is where a new web application created by Dave Winer comes in to play. Radio3 is a linkblogging tool that maintains an RSS feed of all shared links while providing the ability to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress. The RSS feed makes it possible to keep track of my shared links in a standard format that I will be able to read well into the future.

Radio3 includes a handy bookmarklet that makes it easy to share the current browser window, but what if Fever and Radio3 could work together so I did not have to leave my feed reader? Well, they can! Fever has the ability to add sharing options as long as the service provides a URL to add new items, and Radio3 does just that.

To add Radio3 as a sharing option in Fever, perform the following steps:

1. Select Preferences from the Fever menu.
2. Click the Sharing tab.
3. Click the plus (+) button to add a new service.
4. Enter Radio3 in the Service Name field.
5. Enter the following in the Service URL field:

%u represents the site URL, and %t represents the site title. Fever also has a shortcut to include the excerpt that I suppose could be used for the description portion of the Radio3 URL, but I have chosen to use the title which seems to be the default behavior of the bookmarklet when no text is selected in the browser.
6. Enter r in the Key field.
7. Click Save.


That’s all there is to it. Radio3 can now be selected as one of the sharing options directly in Fever.


This is a great example of two web apps working together to make reading and sharing a whole lot more enjoyable.

Mac OS X Leopard

I’m a Mac fan … I don’t go all crazy and have to have ALL the latest gadgets. For the record, I have an iPhone, iPod (I’m a generation behind), and a new 20″ aluminum iMac. OK, so I have to have some of the newest gadgets, but by most standards, I’m a very casual user.

Here is a list of the things I use the most:

Apple Apps:

-iChat AV
-iCal (but mostly only on the iPhone)
-Address Book (to sync my iPhone)

Third Party Apps:

-Sirius Mac 2

…and a few others but used too scarcely to mention. I didn’t even have Office on my machine until about three months after I bought it.

So, in my casual use, there have been a few noticeable differences since upgrading to 10.5. I’m going to vent on two here:

Let’s start with Safari. I use Safari as my main web browser. I know that Safari 3 is still in Public Beta but I never used to have this problem. When viewing RSS feeds, it takes what feels like forever (up to about 10 seconds) to load as little as 5 new feeds. It never did this on the previous versions. I have not tried the RSS feed in Mail heavily yet so I don’t know if the problem exists there or not so I’ll have to try that and find out. Point is, I like viewing the RSS feeds in Safari while I’m browsing my other websites.

In iTunes, if I’m viewing a video (usually a TV show or music video), I often times will close the video window when it’s a music video that I don’t have the song file for. When I select another video, the audio will play, but the video window will not pop back up. If I select a size for the video screen, I get the turning beach ball, and iTunes quits. This also happened on Tiger so I’m not sure if it’s something I’m doing, but I don’t think such a simple thing should be such an issue.

More to come as I continue to discover new and hopefully exciting things!!

Editor’s Note: Greg Probst is the author of Blue Sleeves Blog and is a regular contributor to Probstisms.

Like a lot of you out there, I have been using news readers like My Yahoo!, iGoogle, NewsGator, and most recently Google Reader to keep track of all of the news and information that is important to me. Instead of jumping to forty or more sites each day, I can go to one place and read all of the latest updates. If I choose to, I can jump to the sites to read specific stories to make comments.

One thing that drives me absolutely crazy is when a publisher only includes the title of an article in their feed. This does me no good whatsoever, and it is very annoying. A title is not enough information for me to decide if I have any interest in reading an article, and I cannot be the only person that feels this way.

Publishers need to provide at the very minimum a summary of every article in their feed. My preference is that the feeds to which I subscribe include the full text of each article. For publishers that are concerned about losing advertising opportunities, there are many companies that provide products to help monetize feeds including Google, FeedBurner (now part of Google), and Pheedo. Providing the full text of articles provides a better experience for news consumers, and I suggest that all publishers change their feeds to include full text. Just give me the full story, please.