RSS excites me

I mentioned in my Using Technology post that I’m excited about RSS.

RSS stands for (among other things) Really Simple Syndication. That’s an easy way for articles and news to be published in other peoples websites, weblogs, newspages and even by individuals in software called RSS feed readers or RSS news aggregators.

RSS offers two huge advantages to users. Firstly it is fast. I can scan the headlines and read 14 newsfeeds in 15 minutes compared with clicking Favorites or Bookmarks then reading 14 webpages. Secondly there is no spam. I am less interested in seeing newsletters in my inbox, I just want personally addressed mail showing up there.

Heinz Tschabitscher at About.com makes a great case that RSS Feeds are the Better Email Newsletters. I heard about that article from Nick Bradbury here. Nick is the author of FeedDemon (mentioned below). Companies that don’t offer RSS feeds in addition to their email newsletters are shooting themselves in the foot. It’s like not having a fax in today’s business world.

Syndication is the same way your favourite comic strips (or Dear Abbey) appear in the newspapers. The papers get the comics they want from the syndicator.

Now you can get the news you want the same way. Decide how you want to get your news and blogs then choose the viewer that suits you.

For Windows I use the excellent (but Beta — you’ve been warned) FeedDemon. There are others (try doing a Google search).
In a web browser, try Bloglines
MS Outlook users can use NewsGator once they clear the latest worm out of their system.

Mac users can try NetNewsWire.

Again these are just some of the RSS feed readers available. You don’t have to use RSS now. I expect mail clients will shortly be able to handle RSS automagically. But you will be hearing about it a lot before then.

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