Sunday, November 16, 2008

RSS Feeds

Why don't more people use feed readers? It dumbfounds me. I talk to coworkers and friends about a cool article I found on the internet using Google Reader, and they look at me like I'm an idiot. (This look, of course, in and of itself is not inappropriate in my case, but not for this reason.) Then I find myself explaining the concept to them in detail and with great passion. But I'm not sure if I've won over any converts at this point.

Do you check at least half a dozen websites on a regular basis? Do you have internet OCD and click on a single website multiple times in one day? A feed reader might help with your problem.

The concept behind a feed reader is to avoid having to check for updates on particular websites. Instead, you subscribe to a site's "feed" (or RSS feed) using your feed reader, and when a new post or article arrives on the site, a copy is sent to your reader. Thus, all you have to do is check your reader, not the multitude of sites you stalk over the course of the day.

Lifehacker regularly reviews various feed readers, but the most popular (and best one that I've found is Google Reader. It's very streamlined, allows you to star and email feeds to your friends, and integrates with many of Google's other applications. It's also one of the most user-friendly.

Regardless of which feed reader you decide to use, I highly recommend integrating it into your daily web browsing. It has saved me so much time--and elevated my site stalking to whole new levels.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Firefox has a feed extension called Sage that works with your bookmarks and page histories. It is awesome and saves tons of time for reading blogs.