Saturday, September 10, 2011

RSS Reader

Sometime last year my friend Meg introduced me to a beautiful RSS reader.  Now, I consider myself a technical gal.  I like pretty much all things technology and I had heard of an RSS feed before.  I had seen the little RSS icon:

But what is it?  How do you use it?  Well, that my friends is what I'm about to tell you.  RSS stands for RDF site summary, but really it means updates from a website sent straight to your feed (we'll get to what a feed is in a minute).  I love to read multiple blogs.  I have friends who have blogs, but I also love blogs of people I don't know, but that have really interesting content.  An RSS feed allows you to receive all of the updates from all of the blogs that you like to read in one place.  Think of it like a subscription to all of your favorite blogs or websites.  Instead of having to search out new content from the places you like, all of the new updates are sent directly to you!

Where is this "place" that the updates are sent?  Most blogs will allow you to receive email updates, but what is neat about readers is that they do not clog up your email inbox.  Instead the updates are stored in a second location and you can read them at your leisure.  I am currently registered with Google Reader.  Google Reader is where I subscribe to all the different blogs that I like.  Anytime any of my favorite blogs posts something new the updates come straight to my reader.  Now, I can read these updates on any computer (since Google is internet based), but I choose to read them on my iPad using a free app called Mobile RSS.  This app downloads my recent updates to my iPad and allows me to read items in my feed even when I am not connected to the internet (score!).

If you like to read multiple blogs I really think using a reader can simply your life and cut down on the amount of time you just "poke" on the internet.  Once you are signed up with a reader service add the blogs you like by typing in the web addresses or just look for the RSS symbol above and subscribe!  Here is what the icon for Google reader looks like:
Do you use an RSS reader that isn't Mobile RSS or Google Reader?  I'd love to hear about the different readers that are out there.


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