Within the past hour, I have confessed to a friend that I’m a news junkie. I read and try to understand as much as I can. Consequently, I’m constantly looking for the best way to read what I want to read. On my iPad, I have Zite, Flipboard, Pulse News Reader and the LCARS RSS Reader. (all of which have had previous reviews on this blog!) On my computer, I’ve experimented with a number of RSS readers and seem to have settled in on Google Reader and Newsquares. On top of that, I do have the Newseum and a couple of other newspapers all queued up!
I read a number of blogs and some of my favourites, you’ll find on my own blogroll.
There’s lots of good reading to be had at all of the above sources. Still, I search for more efficient ways to stay on top of things.
Normally, anything that I write about on this blog is part of my regular routine and I’ve tried them long enough to have an opinion. But, given the conversation with @doremigirl tonight, I thought that I’d share a service that I literally signed up for this morning while reading something somewhere else! It’s called Planetaki. Their description of their service is:
A planet is a place where you can read all the websites you like in a single page. You decide whether your planet is public or private.
My first reaction was that this service would be a good way to assign reading assignments that involve multiple sources to students. Just create a “planet” with all of the resources cued up for the students to read. It probably would serve well in that function. But then, I started thinking — could I use this to make me a more productive reader for the things that I read every day.
Essentially, when you create a “planet”, you put together websites that you want to read. Planetaki then assembles the websites into a single reading document. I would just scroll down the computer reading what I want to read. It sounds intriguing. Where to start?
I just happened to be looking at my Blogroll at the time. Why not start there? So, I created a “planet”. I wasn’t alone. Here are some of the recently created planets…
I figured that I better focus on mine. I already was looking up and down the list eager to check out the other “planets”. Now, these “planets” can be public or private but it seems to me that the best route would be to go public. So, you can read my blogroll at http://www.planetaki.com/dougpete. You can read the list – when I read it, the newest items are highlighted as new since the last reading.
As I’m creating this entry, two of the most recent posts where from Peter Skillen and David Warlick. Planetaki gives a decent amount of a preview for the post with a link to the original post. Not bad for a preview. If an item is newsworthy, then I can click on the keep button where the story is preserved. Viewing the complete post pulls in all of the artifacts from the original blog so that you can do things like add a comment, digg it, tweet about it, or whatever the author has configured.
As I kept checking the resource today, I realized why I have these resources on my blogroll. They write great content and there were updates during the day. As I mentioned earlier as well, there are some people with blogrolls that haven’t had a post in three years. But, I guess it’s important to do some name dropping.
I took a look at it and really like it. It definitely is sequential but when you bring up the “planet” on the iPad where scrolling is so important, it really performed nicely. Ditto for the iPod Touch. It does reaffirm to me that this would be the perfect tool for assigned student reading. The only real problem that I’ve run into is adding Alfred Thompson’s blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/alfredth/. I get him plus a whole bunch of other Microsoft blogs. They’re actually pretty good reading but not what I had in mind.
For me, I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve made it a bookmark on my Tizmos page which is my default. I’m going to give it a shakedown and see if it can’t change my reading lifestyle for the better and make me more productive.