Selecting an RSS Reader
Reading RSS Feeds
While many have resisted the urge to decipher
the meaning behind the acronym RSS, the vast majority
of technically knowledgeable online surfers have
begun incorporating RSS into their daily routines.
Why go through the hassle of understanding something
new, the novice might want to know? Because it
saves time, and time is a precious commodity these
The contents of an RSS feed can
be read any number of ways. A variety of tools,
both fee based and free, to read RSS feeds are
available on the Internet.
When determining what RSS feed reader
to download, thought should be given to security.
More an more publishers are using RSS feeds as
a way to deliver podcasts or media rich-content.
Users of desktop software will want to find an
RSS reader that allows for rich media to be delivered
safely and securely.
Web surfers might want to give thought
to another consideration of cross compatibility
and synchronization. With the advances in RSS
readers, many subscribers use multiple platforms
to read their feeds. While this is convenient,
if the the web surfer is not using a synchronized
solution, they find themselves marking the same
feed items read multiple times.
These days, aggregators are available
in all shapes and sizes. Determine what type of
RSS reader you would like to use to aggregate
and manage your RSS feeds.
1. Desktop RSS Reader Software
A number of desktop RSS readers are available
for download from the Internet. Many desktop readers
allow subscribers to categorize and group their
RSS feeds. Many users find it helpful to segregate
personal and business feeds.
Active Web Reader - http://www.deskshare.com/awr.aspx
2. Web Based RSS Aggregator
Web based RSS news aggregators are accessible
via any computer that has Internet access using
a login and password. Web based readers are particularly
useful to individuals who travel frequently.
MyYahoo - http://my.yahoo.com
BlogLines - http://www.bloglines.com
NewsGator - http://www.newsgator.com
3. Browser Plug In
RSS readers are now being incorporated into newer
versions of web browsers. In addition many popular
browsers have third party tools that expand their
functionality to incorporate RSS feeds.
Firefox Sage - http://sage.mozdev.org/
Internet Explorer FeedScout - http://www.bytescout.com/feedscout.html
4. Email RSS Reader
A handful of popular email clients have add on
modules that allow users to manage their RSS feeds
in their existing email client.
Newsgator Inbox - http://www.newsgator.com
5. Mobile RSS Readers
As the world becomes remote, mobile RSS readers
are becoming increasingly popular. Surfers on
the run appreciate receiving content updates remotely.
Mobile RSS Reader - http://www.dace.fi/
FreeRange - http://www.freerangeinc.com/products/
Once you have a news reader setup,
you will need to populate it with RSS feeds. Website
visitors, subscribe to RSS feeds by adding the
URL of the feed to their RSS reader or aggregator.
Many publishers use orange boxes or buttons marked
RSS or XML to signify that an RSS feed exists
for a website. In order to discover the URL of
the RSS feed simply click the icon. Do not panic
if as a result of your click, you see a page that
contains code that makes little sense. Simply
add the URL to the RSS reader. The RSS reader
will decipher the code and display the feed's
content in a format that is easily readable.
Some websites have added chicklets
or icons for popular news readers to make subscriptions
very easy. In those cases, you will see a subscription
button for specific RSS readers, simply click
the icon that corresponds with your RSS reader
and the feed will appear in your RSS reader. Some
desktop aggregators and integrated readers will
automatically detect that an RSS feed is available
on a website. The RSS reader will pop up and ask
if you wish to subscribe to the RSS feed.
While it does require initial effort
to setup a solution for aggregating and reading
RSS feeds, users find that it saves a lot of time
in the long run. Determine what solution best
meets your RSS needs and begin aggregating information.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.