Reverse engineering LivePaola: a case study

So, a few people have asked me how I come up with interesting stuff to blog about. The answer is: I read a lot. I’ve always read practically everything that I could get my hands on, from Reader’s Digest (which I used to get on a gift subscription, courtesy of my grandma) to the Settimana Enigmistica (the undisputed crossword puzzle weekly leader in the days of my childhood). Things haven’t changed that much, really. So, for example, here’s a great 2005 satirical article by Barbara Ehrenreich that I recommend you read, especially if you enjoyed my latest post on self-help books:

How did I get there? Well, first of all, a few days ago I added the Valleywag feed to my RSS reader. Not being into gossip very much at all, I don’t usually read Valleywag, but I found it in researching some information about my CEO‘s political affiliation and decided to keep an eye on it for a couple of weeks. So, a couple of days ago a Valleywag post about Aaron Swartz caught my eye. It had an intriguing title, “The Nontrepreneur” (fellow bloggers, note: clear and complete titles, no all caps, please, because the title is the only piece that I read in my RSS reader). I liked the neologism and read the profile.

So, after figuring out that Aaron Swartz was one cool dude, I also went to his blog and read his essay called “I Hate the News“. In another post, he mentioned Barbara Ehrenreich, whose essays I’ve read before in Harper’s Magazine (print version), so I followed Aaron’s link to her article, which was brilliant. The entire process was probably about ten minutes’ worth of reading time.

What’s missing? I can’t find a button to get a feed from Swartz’s blog. Guessing he may not have one on purpose, which would fit with his minimalist aesthetic and his point of view about Everything Good [Being] Bad For You. So, one day I’ll cut back on my media consumption, too. Just not this week, maybe.

4 thoughts on “Reverse engineering LivePaola: a case study

  1. Funnily enough, I had been reading Swartz’s blog for a while (from when he did a negative post on Google’s culture). He’s great. He does have an RSS feed – that’s how I’ve been reading him. You either go to his blog and hit the subscribe button for your feedreader OR go to your feedreader and “add” his blog.

  2. Thanks Shipriya and Franz! Yes, feed autodiscovery is a lovely thing. I did it right away and it works.
    Before I started blogging a few months ago, one of the hints I followed was: place a feed button in a prominent position – better if it’s big and orange. This makes it easy for a non-geek audience. Guess that Aaron’s audience is, of course, way more sophisticated than mine!

  3. Pingback: tutto è dimostrabile (soprattutto il contrario) Blogging in the busyness world «

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