RSS follow up

To clarify part of what I was talking about in my last post: RSS technology fulfills the promise of the web in separating content (the text) from display (its formatting & appearance). So, someone with accessibility issues, for instance, can use a feed reader to display content from a range of sources in whatever font size or color she needs. Or, you can use a feed reader to quickly display news headlines from six different newspapers without seeing the formatting and advertising associated with each one. The point of the feed reader is to supply more information faster by separating content from its appearance. (This separation is integral to the core concept behind the web: that it doesn't matter what hardware or software you have, or what kind of gadget you're using -- you can still access the same basic information as anybody else. That's what good web design is all about. (and why browser-specific design sucks, but that's another post topic altogether))

But for me, personally, the appearance or display aspect of a blog is part of how my mind relates to its content. So I miss that when I'm just reading through Sage. Even though I can save time etc, for me blogs aren't just about "information." There's some (ineffable) aspect of "personality" which is partly constructed from syntax, topic choice, word choice, etc -- but inflected through design as well. Would I be able to tell profgrrrl apart from New Kid or Jimbo, if given sample paragraphs all in the same font? probably. But I still prefer, most of the time, to read their posts directly on their blog sites. Because I'm just old-fashioned I guess. And that's what your basic web browser does just fine on its own.

This isn't commentary on the technology so much as musings about reading practices...