inessential by Brent Simmons


I’ve been having so much fun watching people’s new Radio weblogs.

I’ve been using Radio to build for a few months now, and here are a few of my favorite tips. These work for me, but your mileage may vary, of course.

1. Tell Radio to run a news scan on startup. It’s in the Prefs section, the second page in the News Aggregator section.

This way you don’t have to wait until the top of the hour or whatever for a news scan when you first launch Radio.

2. Another pref to change: when the scan runs. By default it runs at the top of the hour. But if everybody’s scan is running then, that means all this extra traffic that you’re contributing to, and it means your scans may be slower. So change this to any other minute but 0.

3. Go to the Checkboxes on or off? prefs page and turn them on. What this means is that, on the News Aggregator page, everything is checked automatically. It’s just one click to delete everything. It’s easier to un-check the news items you want to keep than to check the news items you want to delete.

4. Subscribe to only the channels you really want to read. At first I made the mistake of subscribing to every channel that might be remotely interesting, or that I thought I should be interested in—but then I found I couldn’t follow it all. So I cut back to the channels I actually read and I’m slow to add new channels.

5. Edit your templates. Web design is fun! And your weblog stands out more if it doesn’t look like everybody else’s.

6. When posting news from a news channel, quote anything that you didn’t say. What I mean is, sometimes I see something on a weblog that sounds familiar, and then I remember I saw it on Scripting News. Then I realize that person has posted a paragraph from Scripting News’ news feed. See how it can be confusing? I’m not always sure who wrote what I’m reading.

There are lots of different ways to make it more obvious, and you’ll find your own way, as long as you remember to keep your readers in mind, remember to think about how they’ll read your weblog.