Selecting an News Aggregator
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 days.
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
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 http://www.feedforall.com
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.