Friday, October 05, 2007

Simple mathematcis.

The more I find new blogs, the less I find time read them. Simple mathematics.

I recently came across a nice little web toy called Netvibes, which allows me, amongst other things, to collect the blogs I read more or less regularly in rather appealing fashion, and under a variety of user defined tabs. Until now, I used Bloglines, but never liked the interface much, so Netvibes has proved a much more friendly and usable tool. It also allows me to collect bookmarks, notes, Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, my Google calendar, 4 search engines at once, my bookmarks and, surely, many more goodies should I ever wish to waste any more time flicking through the hundreds of modules available. It certainly makes for a rather pretty, if a tad content-heavy, home page. And of course, it has the advantage of being accessible anywhere in the world.


My Netvibes homepage

In recent days, I have stumbled upon a few new blogs to which I have hastily subscribed. The exquisite Stephen Fry for instance has just started one. Being an absolute fan of his (I regard him as one of the greatest living Brits, with Sir David Attenborough), adding his blog to my already long list of subscriptions was utterly necessary. Of course.

I have also discovered Armistead Maupin’s web ramblings. Thanks to a very prominently displayed Michael Tolliver Lives (his most recent book) in Waterstone’s in Redhill, I have finally got on a mission to read the whole Tales Of The City series. I have recently put the last in the series to bed, which left me feeling a bit empty. After six books, I had grown to look forward to my commute to and from work with excitement, and to my daily encounters with Mary-Ann Singleton, Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver, Mrs Madrigal, DeDe Halcyon, Brian Hawkins and the rest of this enchanting cast. I am currently reading Michael Tolliver Lives, which is not the next book in the series as such (Maupin is said to be writing it as we speak), but it features many of the characters from the series, including of course Michael Tolliver and the delightful Mrs Madrigal. This current book is actually the first novel I ever bought in its hardback version. But, I digress.

Finding Maupin’s blog (which, thankfully seem to be updated only sporadically), and aiming to keep up with it, is at least, a good intention.

There’s also Me And My Big Mouth from Scott Pack, a man described as ‘the most powerful man in the books trade’ by the Guardian. Although most of the posts are focused on books or on the book industry, which I know very little about, it is still an interesting read. I originally came across it thanks to Kathryn over a year ago, and have been following it every since. The very post you are reading was actually triggered by one of his, where he introduced a new blog by author Marie Phillips. I must confess that I had never heard of her before, but somehow, her web prose, rounded up under the "Woman Who Talked Too Much" banner (there is a warning in there somewehre) sounded interesting. Scott said:

“Marie Phillips has started a new blog. May I point you in its direction?

The Woman Who Talked Too Much (which Ethan and Martha will vouch for as an uncannily appropriate title) will contain her musings on television, music, movies, books and stuff. She has already posted on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing, her reaction to which my family witnessed in the flesh and we can confirm that she really is rather excited about it.”


So, as a good web 2.0 user, I followed the link and started reading a post called ‘Ronnie Hazlehurst RIP, and other thoughts on theme tunes’ which tickled me enough to subscribed to the RRS feed.

The problem is that, apart from Woody’s blog, which I read religiously, I am failing miserably to even try to keep up with pretty much any blog I subscribe to, whether it is that of my heroes (Robin Guthrie, Greg Davis), that of friends or that of general interest. I can subscribe to RSS feeds at the click of an icon on my browser, but the more I come across interesting blogs, the more I click, and the less I actually read. I seem like on a mission to harvest as many as I can.

Of course, some of the feeds I have subscribed to are purely informative (BBC news, the Guardian online, Reuters, Google News, a handful of record labels who are thoughtful enough to provide an RSS feed and interesting enough to warrant me subscribing, and a few other random sites), so these only usually get a quick look in, with only the occasional post granted a bit more of my time. As for the rest, I think I am resolving myself to carry on missing things like before the days of RSS, only now, I am actually aware of what I am missing!

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