My experience of the Internet has dramatically changed over the last few months because of news aggregators. I suspect that many others are experiencing a similar sense of movement.
Two quotes I noticed today capture my feelings well.
The first is from Jim McGee, who says:
“Sites that provide no RSS feed essentially don’t exist for me.”
He adds: “95% of my online information comes to me by way of my aggregator.” While I’ve not reached that kind of percentage yet, it’s amazing how dramatically the time I spend actually going out and looking for things (other than newsfeeds) on the Internet has been reduced.
The second quote is from Matt Mower’s Curiouser and Curiouser blog, where Matt says:
“Could somebody please tell me, given that we are half way to 2004 in the 21st goddamn century, why I cannot print a web page without losing 50% of all the words on the right hand edge of the page. And it’s not just IE, Firebird is just as bad!”
Matt also commented that Jim’s quote I mentioned was “spot on” and I have to say that Matt’s quote is also spot on in my book.
To me, the best software is the software that stays out of your way and let’s you work the way you want to work. When simple things like printing out a page do not work in the default settings (and it happened to me again today), something needs to be fixed.
If the Internet routes around barriers, the dominant role of the browser as an information gathering tool on the Internet may diminish faster than anyone thought possible.