How to Manage the Flow and Stock of Information on the Web

We netizens are inundated with an ever increasing flow of information, whether academic or not, on the web. Among about 2,000 websites stored as bookmarks in my browser of choice Firefox I check about 100, most of which are broadcasts, newspapers and magazines, almost on a daily basis. Naturally, I do not visit all of them manually. I am very sorry that there still remain so many netizens and webmasters who have neither heard of web feeds; they are wasting and causing visitors to waste their precious time by manually checking updates. My favorite feed aggregator used to be my favorite mailer Thunderbird, but rather recently I switched to a Firefox extention called Brief and am very satisfied with it, though it is rather slow.

I am also sorry for those netizens who use Internet Explorer as their default browser not because of conscious choice but out of ignorance of better browsers. Firefox has been my favorite browser for many years, partly because it has a number of highly useful extensions that supplement the functionality of Firefox. Another favorite Firefox extension of mine is Read It Later; I use it when I do not want to save certain webpages as bookmarks or externally permanently but want to save them for later reading. When I want to store certain webpages permanently, I used another truly amazing extension called Zotero; it is not only for storing webpages but a versatile bibliography manager.

Unfortunately, the most valuable academic information available on the web, academic journals and articles published there online, costs money. Fortunately, the university where I work subscribe to many of the journals I check regularly. Even more fortunately, I have recently found a way to access these journals from home, using a service called Athens; ours is still one of the few universities that use this amazing service. You can check whether your institution already uses it on its list of users by country. Since it is a service started in the United Kingdom, there are many institutions that use it there; to my surprise, there are no academic institutions in Japan and there are few in the United States that use this service. If you are among the lucky ones whose institutions are Athens-powered, you will appreciate the library of your respective institution for its decision to offer this service.