I'll be the first to admit that I am not terribly technologically savvy. I've never been the first one on the block to have the new iPod or TiVo or deodorant. So for those of you who have for months or years been using the service I'm about to endorse, I apologize. I'm just spreading the word so that others who have yet to discover it can join in its apparent greatness.
That disclaimer out of the way, if you're not already using Bloglines, you need to start doing so. Bloglines is a free web newsreader that aggregates syndicated feeds from around the internet (among other things I have either not yet used or discovered). If that makes little or no sense to you, the best way I can describe it is that it's like an email inbox that gets new "mail" each time the sites you frequent update. You decide which sites you want to subscribe to (you've probably seen those little RSS or Atom buttons on sites - those are links for the feeds), and when those sites update, your "inbox" tells you. In other words, instead of doing your usual lap around the 'net and hitting refresh, you check one site - Bloglines - to see which of "your" sites have updated. Then, for any sites that have updated, you can see in the righthand frame summaries or even full articles without even leaving your current window. For example, you can get your daily Roundup from this site in your Bloglines window without ever having to visit this site itself. It's like getting home delivery of a newspaper rather than having to go out to get it.
The benefits of a web-based newsreader (in addition to those just described) are basically two-fold - you don't have to install any software on your computer and, since it's web-based, you can access it from anywhere (i.e. home or at the office).
I don't really know a whole heck of a lot more than that, and wouldn't be shilling for this service if I didn't think it was very much worthwhile. So check it out. And if you feel so inclined, I've added a button on the bottom of the sidebar at right that will allow you to subscribe to The Rink with Bloglines.
That's it. No more non-hockey posts out of me for a while.