04 December 2005

New Look – Same Great Taste

A.D. Freudenheim, The Editor

Back in May 2003, I wrote about being bugged by a friend to switch to the more technically-sophisticated “blogging” technology used by most web logs – specifically, I wrote about my resistance to such a change, arguing that the ease of site maintenance for my system made the switch unnecessary. It was true then, and it is true now. But...

The proliferation of RSS, or “real simple syndication,” has changed the name of the game. For those unfamiliar with the technology, RSS allows many common e-mail programs and web browsers to pull content from a web site when it is updated; instead of going to check on a site, you can have the content delivered to you, and without providing an e-mail address to do so. The technology for RSS has been around for some time, but until last week, no one had asked me about whether my site could be accessed this way. Then, someone did; and that question dovetailed with my own interest in trying to expand opportunities for my readers. Hence the changes you may have noticed to the site design – and some comments on those changes:

  • First of all, for anyone who wants to add this site to their news readers/RSS systems, the URL for that is: http://www.thetruthasiseeit.com/atom.xml. I do consider the addition of RSS to be a definite improvement!1

  • Likewise, Blogger.com’s system provides an easy interface for reader comments. So, comment away.

  • All of the old content is still accessible: on the upper right side of the page are links to the original site archives, organized by date. As content grows under the new structure, I will evaluate whether that old-style archive continues to be useful.

Finally, I should address the issue I raised back in 2003: the technology. In fact, I have written a number of times about the challenges humans face when using new technologies, and of avoiding a situation where those new tools quickly become more burdensome, demanding, or degrading than they are helpful. We humans are not always so good at controlling our impulses, and technology can exacerbate our worst instincts. Still, I also believe that we can control ourselves, and our various tools, if we try. Switching to a more sophisticated blogging software will not, I expect, change my writing habits much; I remain as interested in writing thoughtfully and engagingly about politics and culture as I was beforehand. I am no more or less likely to post new content more frequently than once a week. And posting to the site may be easier, but the process of thinking and writing remains the primary challenge – at least for this site. Which, like it or not, I can now truly call a “blog.” I hope you enjoy it.

1Ok, technically, this is an “Atom” feed, not an RSS feed. But it should make no difference to you, dear reader. For additional information on using RSS/Atom feeds, see the following:

For Mozilla’s Thunderbird (e-mail): http://opensourcearticles.com/articles/introduction_to_thunderbird_8

For Mozilla’s Firefox (web browser): http://kb.mozillazine.org/RSS:_Live_Bookmarks_overview_%28Firefox%29#How_to_add_a_Live_Bookmark

Microsoft Outlook does not support RSS on its own, but Microsoft does offer offer add-on programs; see: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011750001033.aspx.


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