RSS issn’t the new kid on the block (5 years since I heard of it), but its time to review what I know about it. RSS, Really Simple Syndication, or is a combination of XML and Web Services ideologies. A small subset, yet huge in its practicality.
“Feeds” if used like a noun seems to be a synonym to RSS and if thought
as a verb describes webpages feeding your computer with information. An
aggregator or a reader pulls or get “feeds” with data, organise and
present them to the user.
Here’s four reasons why you should use RSS.
1. Check sites for updates (or not).
2. Information Quickly.
3. Get Content without the Clutter
1, RSS allows you to see check your favorite sites for updates without all the manual clicking. 2, You can see new(/old) subjects and perhaps extract at a glance. You get information quickly because all information is consolidated. 3, You read the contents in a consistent manner, and avoid the different fonts, layout, bad designs, and links getting to their pages. Maybe RSS is an alternative to your web browsing. 4, You organise information in a meaningful way, in a task oriented, or just the way you want it to be.
In short, time savings and productivity!
Here’s some type of content you might use RSS with.
My observation: Before social networking boom like Facebook, blogs were the majority procrastinators paradise. Anyway, lots of time would be spent just going through your list of friend’s online diary. RSS can help you cut down the time on that. News feeds update you with the most current affairs. RSS’s a good way to check updates on communities you are interested.
Where you can use RSS.
1. Browsers – IE . FF . Opera, Maxthon,
3. Client software
4. Mail Readers
Over time has RSS applications evolve while others adapts. 1. Almost all modern browser (and their wrappers, addons) supports RSS whether with a reading pane, or just as improved bookmarks. 2. Desktop widgets, web plugins (for WordPress or Facebook maybe) supports them. Web desktops like iGoogle, myYahoo, live would support feeds. 3. If you prefer a dedicated software try the free, multi-platform RSSOwl or look at some of the huge lists around. 4. Mail clients being the perhaps the no.1 work software, would now include RSS support as a way of “working”. 5. A method of solving the problem of reading your feeds everywhere is to implement it online. Here an review on some of the best web rss clients. Knowingly or not, web sites are using RSS behind the scenes eg. Google News.
Now to get started, lets use Google Reader, the web based RSS reader. Much improvements since I first used it, here are their powerful features and some useful tips:
1. Adding sites
Their quick add button allows you to throw any site URL, and Google reader works behind the scenes to find the feed, extract the RSS and add it to your collection. Most blogs nowadays have would have RSS, in case Google don’t find feed on some blogspot sites are perhaps because they set their privacy for Google to ignore. just add /feeds/posts/default
and the feed is added. eg. hello.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
2. Add tags/folders
Group your sites. Example blogs, news, games so on… You could click on a category to show you all stories from the sites in that group, just like each reply in a Gmail conversation.
3. Import/export your feeds.
Dump all your sites into GReader or dump them into a file if you wish to switch to another application.
4. Personalise your feeds.
It easy to add large lists quickly and loose interest soon because of information overloading. Go slow but steady. Add pages which are interesting but not your site hangouts into a separate group so important sites to you won’t get
And lots more!