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Getting Comfortable With RSS – Part 1

February 07 2011


So much information, so little time. Newspapers, magazines, podcasts, blog posts, books, webinars – we are overwhelmed with information from a myriad of sources. Most of us probably have our “towers of shame,” those stacks of must-read books beside the bed or our favorite chair.

How would you like to be served filtered business, local and national news, blog posts, videos, and other items of interest, directly to your computer in real-time? An extremely simple and efficient way to manage day-to-day information is through the use of an RSS reader and subscriptions to RSS feeds.

RSS is Real Simple Syndication. Most dynamic web content, blog posts, news from online sources, is offered via RSS feeds, as indicated by the RSS symbol at the beginning of the paragraph, or the symbol in conjunction with a Subscribe request near the top of many pages (see top right corner of this page to subscribe to posts from this blog). Once you use RSS, it becomes second nature, but RSS and RSS feeds are a little hard to explain, so let’s get some help from our friends at CommonCraftCommonCraft.

The use of RSS feeds will allow you to peruse a vast amount of information, in a shorter time and help you conquer, or at least control, information overload. You can read items directly, save articles of interest, share items without reading, or quickly delete entire blocks of items that may not be of interest. There are many RSS readers to choose from. They are offered in browsers, email clients, and as stand alone readers. Once you have a grasp of RSS and how you will be using it, you should be able to find a reader that perfectly meets your needs. I have been using Google Reader for years, and highly recommend it. Start using it by clicking hereclicking here.

In part 2 we will discuss where to find, filter and subscribe to useful, relevant content, and what to do with it.