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Selecting a 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 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
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
a wireless text messaging software company.
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