RSS Aggregator vs visiting site

I have gone back and forth between using an aggregator (currently SharpReader) and just going to the web sites of my various sites. The great thing about an aggregator is that you don’t have to worry about wandering from page to page, folks can send you RSS links or OPMLs for you to import and check out, and you can group your different areas of interest into groups. The problem I have is that I don’t connect as well with the information that I am looking at. I am just as likely to delete a post in the aggregator that I would read every word of on the web page. I am not sure if this is a case of experience or what.

To bring it back to something we talked about on the podcast, I see the aggregator as a space, whether it is SharpReader or MyYahoo, which I have little connection to and therefore seem to have little connection to the content that I view there. The individual websites then are analogous to cyber-places where I have had interactions with the site design, the content creators, and, heaven forbid, the advertisers. I think this has a little to do with the story that each site or cyber-place sets up from post to post. An odd comparison, but one that I am sure a geographer of cyberspace has mentioned. In the end I will keep using my aggregator, but I will pop into a site every now and then just to look around even though I have probably read all of the posts on the site…

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Jesse is Instructor in Geography and a PhD candidate in Geography focusing on the integration of phenomenology and geospatial technologies to study prehistoric cultural landscape. He is a GIS Professional and Registered Professional Archaeologist and holds an MA in Geography and a BS in Anthropology with a concentration in archaeology.