Inquisitive Guide – RSS : Best way to visit many websites together

A few years ago, my mentor gave me a quick advice, which in turn has changed my life as clichéd as it sounds. He said I should make it a point of spending time online without using the usual refinements like Facebook, YouTube, email or other form of direct entertainment online. Initially targeted at spending an hour online, now I have some interesting hours online nearly every other day, which I should say has enabled me to even write about these Inquisitive topics. Eventually there are quite a few websites that I was reading regularly, blogs that I was reading and what came out of it was, that I started to spend too much time in visiting those sites / blogs to pick up the information that I wanted to read. Then I stumbled upon RSS.

Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, the expanded version of RSS is actually a web format that is used to read “feeds” from sites. What it means is that people with RSS feeds on their sites have set up a sort of a radio channel for their websites, where you will constantly pick up any changes or posts that they add, however the advantage over radio is that it shows them by posts, so you can pick to read what you want to, where as you can opt to not read ones that do not really interest you. The video here should help better understand RSS.

Why RSS? Benefits and Reasons for using RSS

RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure your privacy, by not needing to join each site’s email newsletter.

What do I need to do to read an RSS Feed? RSS Feed Readers and News Aggregators

Feed Reader or News Aggregator software allow you to grab the RSS feeds from various sites and display them for you to read and use. A RSS reader can be web based application, desktop-based standalone application, browser based application or a mobile device based app. Each of these readers has their own features and some are free while others are not. Those who have to access their RSS feeds from multiple computers prefer a web based RSS reader. Those who access RSS from a single computer generally choose the desktop applications. While choosing your desktop-based application, make sure that you are keeping into account the operating system platform that you are using. All recent browser applications also have an inbuilt RSS reader. These browsers also have a finder technology that automatically spots the RSS widget on the website that the browser is visiting. In addition, RSS feeds can be received on mobile phones. What more, you can even connect your RSS feeds with your social network channels like twitter and facebook. The services like twitterfeed and RSS graffiti makes this possible. RSS feeds can also be converted to emails and read from your inbox.

variety of RSS Readers are available for different platforms. Some popular feed readers include Amphetadesk (Windows, Linux, Mac), FeedReader (Windows), and NewsGator (Windows – integrates with Outlook). There are also a number of web-based feed readers available. My YahooBloglines, and Google Reader are popular web-based feed readers.

Once you have your Feed Reader, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the list of feeds your Feed Reader checks. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available.

As an additional step you can chose to beautify the RSS feeds with these plugins for popular browsers such that you can read the news from these sites easily. A great example of the RSS feed beautifier, aggregator and reader is the plugin for Google Chrome, that converts a boring looking interface into a proper magazine style interface.

At the end of the day the name of the game is pulling information from sites that you want and present it to you in the way you want it. So if Melvin’s Inquisitive Mind is on your list of blogs and or sites that you visit usually and want the information to reach you as soon as it is posted, well go ahead give the RSS a try on this blog. Its on the top right, just below the content slideshow.

Change is Inevitable – Need your views

Its getting close to a year of the existence of this blog on a self sufficient domain at, having its own sub domain, and I have been trying to be consistent with the content coming on to this blog, including the very popular Wordless Thursday and other regular articles. In the past few weeks, the viewer-ship on the blog has significantly increased and I would attribute this to maybe increased awareness and an updated Google Pagerank as well.

Ηράκλειτος (Herakleitos; Heraclitus) of Ephesus way back in the times of the greek, had a very famous quote that people use until this day.

“The only thing constant in the world is change”

And considering this I have decided to add more diversity in content, am also going to be working on a theme to change a bit of the look and theme of the site including some changes in the plugins that I am using etc, to help make the site a bit faster (yes I do realize that its slow at times). More changes will be bought over in some time, however for a start I have started to include Guest posts now, posts that stay within the realm of inquisitive and interesting but could be from different fields and not only confined to technology. The first two guest posts are already here on the blog and you can see them here :

Guest Post – Mutual Fund Myth Buster

Guest Post – How to create a workable budget that gives you money and life?

More importantly, I have been requested by some students and kids (surprisingly who read my blog) to write about careers and what they might entitle, in terms of the work that they are doing, what people would need to do to get into that industry etc. I hope that this section would really help some of these students and kids who are reading this blog. The new section named “Inquisitive Interviews” will feature weekly some interesting everyday people with varied job profiles helping students make informed decisions on their career paths, from people in those industries. I have already requested some of my friends from different fields to actually feature in this section and it will start in a few days. Please let me know of what you think about the sections and the content in them.

A shout out to the regular readers, any suggestions and comments are really welcome to help make this blog interesting and inquisitive enough for all of you. Waiting for your responses …

A small Change and hopefully a larger impact

This month is a month of personal Achievement. I had thought that I will be really happy if I was to achieve about 10,000 Page Views by the end of August, but to my surprise I am edging just above 15,000 Page Views with over 3,800 visitors. I really want to thank all of you  who have appreciated online and offline, this humble attempt to share the Inquisitive Mind. In an attempt to try and improve on the experience for everyone who has been visiting this blog for a while, I am working on changing the look and feel of the blog.

The new layout is still going to be simple enough and still as a blog, rather than a flashy website. Of course like anything new, it might initially have a few flaws that needs to be ironed out, and that I will be able to do better with feedback and help from you guys.  Please do leave your comments on how you like the look and feel of the newer Melvin’s Inquisitive Mind, and what you think I can improve on. I would also request you guys to tell me if there are specific topics to write about ? Any questions you want to be answered ? or just want to criticize the work, I am more than willing to learn and improve.

The Blog and the associated sites have given me exposure to a lot of people and places that would not have been possible otherwise, in fact the Blog has not only improved on a personal brand called Melvin, but also let me get in touch with some brilliant thinkers and innovators of our times. I will write more about that when I will try to persuade all of you guys to try a personal branding exercise. In the mean time, I have been having thoughts about the range of topics that I have been writing about, I feel I have spread myself too thin on too many varied topics. Your comments and suggestions would allow me to narrow down on what aspects I should focus more within the general ‘Impact of Technology’ category. Please do not hesitate to leave your comments.

In the mean time, this experience of setting up a blog and writing has given me enough confidence and knowledge to help set-up the same for anyone who is interested. In fact I have been helping out a few friends set up their own blogs etc.. I will link those guys up very soon so that you can see some of the other sites as well. Would be glad to help more of you with something like this., if you want me to.  Additionally if anyone wants to contribute articles for me to be able to put up, I will be more than happy to do so, as I am starting a category specifically for ‘Guest Authors’ called the ‘Other Inquisitive Minds‘.

Apart form the blog, Photography has kept me really busy, so much so that it has pursuaded me to attend a photography workshop in Bangalore for none other than the renowned Kalyan Verma, You can check out his work at I will for sure let all know about the workshop when I am back, and hopefully share some knowledge as well. As for the Photography, I am also looking to share the pictures as downloadable wallpapers for your computers as well as mobiles, you can check them out  for the time being at

A spark that grew into a blog i mean fire.

image of phonecian numbers

Studying engineering trains ones brain into thinking analytically or rationally or let me say, inquisitively to make it a bit broader. Ever since I have completed my engineering, or maybe even before that, I have always wondered about things. Nearly everything I see or interact with needs to have a reason for being there, if not knowing how to get it there. As an example, working in the construction industry and looking at finishes interfaces with service elements, you get into a mood of looking and trying to figure out certain aspects of everything you see, for example how would a light fitting be well mounted into a ceiling so as to provide light as well as not spoil the appearance of the well made ceiling. This got me into trouble once, as in, I have been asked to stop at the Dubai Airport Immigration by the police as I was looking into all the cameras and moving around. The intention was actually to look at how they have managed to place a rather boring looking camera into a very well designed aesthetic ceiling.

This mindset is difficult to let go once you are out of work, everything you see, touch, feel, experience is another mystery to be solved, although it is not required. Although I might know that the camera was fit in a very aesthetic fixation so as to not look like a swollen pimple on the face of Cameroon Diaz, still the mindset gives the inquisitiveness to check how it was done. I have not been able to loose the mindset even while thinking of religion. I am a Christian by birth, and have confirmed myself to be of the faith in my adolescence. But now the inquisitive nature of the mind has given way to many questions related to Religion.

Christ, The Bible, Genesis, The Grail, The Ark of the covenant, endless mysteries lodged into the soul of Christianity and waiting to be solved. Although of course I know that I am not the first one to think this way, there have been many people in the quest and have been many journeys that they have taken. I might not be able to leave my current life in the search of trying to solve any of these mysteries. But definitely will find comfort in trying to find information from the research of the greats who have pondered over the same questions again.