There was a time not so long ago when sitting down at the end of the day with a newspaper to catch up with world events was relatively normal. If you then watched a 30-minute new broadcast on TV, you were pretty much up to date.
In the 21st century, there are now more sources of information than you can shake the proverbial stick at, and there is no way to keep up with everything if you want to lead anything resembling a Life. So one way that technology can help you is to use a piece of software called an aggregator . This is a single program that collects and displays in one location all the different sources of internet-based information that you might normally have to skip through to get you daily dose of news.
The one I use as my personal daily newspaper is Pulse, a multi-platform software that gathers up the latest information from a variety of media sources and pops them on-screen in an easy-to-view form.
A great feature is that you can set up different pages (or tabs) for different sources, and this means it’s easy to have a simple BLOGS page just so you can follow your favorites. For those of you with iPads, here is a step-by-step guide to how to add a BLOGS page to Pulse.
1. Download Pulse for iPad/iPod.
2. When you first download Pulse, it takes you through setting up your first page and gives you lots of pre-chosen selections, such as Reuters News, BBC News, Lifehacker, GQ, and many, many others. Just choose a bunch so you can get up and running quickly and get a feel for the interface.
3. Once you are up and running, you can start adding your BLOGS tab by selecting the or the icon at the top left .
4. Select the ADD A PAGE option from the screen that pops up.
5. Now touch the button for BROWSE THE CATALOG.
6. From the pop-up window that appears, click on the Search Box.
7. Now type in either the name of the blog you want to add or the actual blog address. HINT: If you type a blog address then add “/feed” that can work better than just the address alone.
8. When you see the blog appear below the Search window, touch the blue + sign and it will change to a check mark.
9. Your chosen blog is now on your new page, which you can see if you look behind the “What’s New” window.
10. Click on the X to close the window and you will end up on your Home page but now have a new tab next to HOME.
11. The final touch is to press and hold on the tab where is says “Page 2” and yo can then edit it and type in BLOGS (or whatever). You now have a dedicated blog page where you can go ahead and add as many as you like.
Signing up with Pulse
If you want to go the whole hog and have your Pulse data available to you on any device, you should sign up for a Pulse account. This is incredibly painless as all they ask for is your e-mail and a password. That’s really it!
1. Click on the button to get to the sign-up/login screen.
2. Choose Sign Up to create a new account with Pulse.
Once you are signed up, you can now access Pulse from any platform for which there is software. Other than the iPad, I have tested it on a Droid 3, Samsung 7″ Tab, Samsung 10″ Tab, and the on-line version at the company’s pulse.me website . Although there may be some difference in the interface, which is essentially because of scree size, it is pretty slick to be able to access all the same information regardless of platform.
And a final word: thanks to Speech Dudes follower @abbiem (Abbie Moran) for prompting us to produce this article! You can check out her new blog at Thinking about Language.
 The use of the word aggregator as a collector of information from various sites dates back to 1995. However, in the 16th century, it referred to “a collector or compiler of medical remedies.” It comes from post-classical Latin aggregator meaning “compiler,” which in turn derives from the Latin verb aggregare, “to cause to flock together, or join together.” The prefix ag– is really just a variant of the common prefix ad– meaning “toward or to,” and the root element is the Latin grex meaning “a flock.” Speechies will recognize the process whereby the /d/ at the end of the prefix /æd/ becomes a /g/ when followed by /grɛks/ – assimilation. Non-speechies might like to try saying “adgregate” and you’ll see why “aggregate” is much easier!
 At the time of writing, Pulse is moving to its 3.0 version. The cog icon is being changed to the “stack of papers” icon (it’s impossible to find the name of a picture if you don’t know what it is!) so if you have a pre-3.0 version you will see the cog.
 It works on Windows XP with Firefox (v. 18.0.1), Opera (v. 12.14), Chrome (24.0.1312.57), but I had problems with Internet Explorer 8 (v. 8.0.6001). Internet Explorer 9 (v. 9.0.8112) on Vista works fine.