If you are like me, you sometimes find yourself spending too much time surfing the Internet. Maybe you like car blogs or fashion websites, or as in my case, too much technology news.
RSS is a great way to minimize the time you spend surfing and to laser focus what you read.
However, you would be amazed how many people don’t use RSS or aren’t even aware of its usefulness.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” I won’t try to give you the background of RSS, you can read about it on Wikipedia right here.
RSS provides a news feed or broadcast of the items posted on a website or blog. You can subscribe to these feeds so that website news and articles are delivered right to you.
Most sites have a simple link or button to allow you to subscribe to their RSS feed. You can subscribe to TMN’s RSS feed here.
Why Use RSS?
So, why do I want to go to a website or application to read about all my other favorite websites?
Well, for one, it centralizes all of your favorites in one place. Instead of endlessly surfing websites, you can have your favorites deliver their new content right to you. I have several dozen sites that I enjoy and I have all their articles compiled in one place so that I can read what I want.
This saves a lot of time vs. surfing to all of these sites. Additionally, it keeps you from missing content just because you didn’t visit a site on a particular day.
How I Use RSS…
The are many stand alone applications for both Mac and Windows. However, the most universal RSS reader is Google Reader. You can collect all of your news feeds right on Google. You can go here to sign up for a Google Reader account. If you already have a Google account, you can access Reader with your current Google login.
I use Google Reader because it is so simple and it is web-based. It provides a nice interface and most importantly it allows other apps to sync with it.
I read my news online at Google Reader, however I also use the software application “Reeder” on both my iPhone and my iPad. You can check out Reeder here.
The cool thing is that they all stay in sync. So, if I have a few minutes and read an article on my iPhone, it syncs back to Google Reader and updates.
Give RSS a Try
If you are not using an RSS reader today, give it a try. You might find that it saves you save time and also prevents those extended surfing sessions.
One more thing, you will notice that some sites provide the full text of their articles via RSS and others just provide just a teaser. Many RSS fans prefer the full feed so that they can read an article without having to click-through to the website.
By popular request from several fans, I have updated TMN’s feed to provide the full article text. Please let me know if this works better for you. 🙂
How do you use RSS to save you time? Which RSS reader or application do you prefer?