RSS Readers

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Choose the Best RSS Feed Reader for Your Needs

If you don’t know anything about RSS, you might want to read a little bit about RSS Technology. Otherwise, read the following information below to find out more about RSS readers and how can you read RSS feeds.

While browsing websites, you might have stumbled upon a small orange or blue icon named “RSS” or “XML” and some kind of text telling you to subscribe to RSS feed. If you have tried clicking one of those, you ended up on a web page that contained lots of hardly readable hieroglyphs (those hieroglyphs are actually RSS feed itself). If you are curious (otherwise you wouldn’t be here), you decided to find out more about RSS and how to subscribe to those feeds. As a matter of fact, it’s actually very easy to do.

How to Subscribe to RSS Feed

So in order to subscribe to one or more RSS feeds, you need a tool that is called an RSS reader (sometimes it’s called RSS aggregator). An RSS reader allows you to simply read news or receive updates from a website that offers RSS feeds.

If you use internet heavily, you probably read tons of information and news online. If you’re interested in one or another topic, you have to go from one website to another in order to read all the updated news. With RSS reader, you can subscribe to your favourite feeds and receive updates from all the websites into your aggregator without having to visit any websites. As a matter of fact, some people don’t go to any website to read updates if that site doesn’t provide content updates via RSS feed.

Having said that, it’s time to see what kind of RSS readers can you choose and where can you get the best one that fits your needs. There are actually 2 types of readers – web based and desktop RSS readers. Some of them are free and some are paid. Here are some more popular readers.

Web Based RSS Readers

Web based RSS readers allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds and read the content from a web based account. Just like there are web based email services where you log-in and read the messages instead of receiving them into a desktop program (i.e. Outlook Express), there are web based feed readers. Different readers have different pros and cons. The bad thing about web based readers is that you have to login to your account in order to read news. The good news is that if you forget a password or account name, you don’t lose all your feeds, because your login info can be emailed to you. Ok, let’s look at a couple of web based RSS readers:

  • Bloglines – Is AskJeeves’ owned free service that offers RSS feed reading services. Bloglines has lots of useful features. It has an easy to navigate control panel where you can see all the feeds you have subscribed to and read all your favourite feeds online.
  • My Yahoo – Is another web based RSS reader. It also offers lots of useful features. Because of the popularity of My Yahoo, many sites are offering special buttons on their sites to allow My Yahoo users easily subscribe to the feed. This web based service is also free.

Desktop RSS Readers

There are many popular software for reading RSS feeds online. However, there’s a little disadvantage about desktop feed readers. If you download one to your PC, subscribe to a dozen of feeds, and later for whatever reason decide to uninstall, you’ll erase all the feeds and simply won’t remember the ones you’ve had subscribed to.

Web based RSS readers require you to signup using your email account. So if you forget the password, you’ll receive the account information into your email. But the good side is that desktop RSS readers don’t require logging and giving your email. You just download it to your desktop, install and get all the news whenever you open your software. Here are some good desktop RSS readers:

  • FeedReader – Is a desktop RSS reader, which allows you to get message into your desktop instantly. It is free and doesn’t require any subscription to download. It has a couple of useful features. With a click of a button, it scans all the headlines and reports you about any news.
  • FeedDemon – Is another good RSS reader that comes in two versions. One is free trial version and the other is full and requires a little investment. FeedDemon has an Outlook Express like interface. Another good thing about this tool is that it has a built in podcasting option that allow you to download and listen to your favorite podcasts.

You should try to use a couple of these tools and decide which one is best for you. As said before, there are free and paid RSS readers. Even if you’re a fan of free stuff, you might want to consider a paid option. Most of the time, paid RSS readers have more features and are more user friendly.

Summing Up

RSS readers are becoming increasingly popular on the internet. Taken the fact that Google, BBC, MSN, Yahoo and other major media giants now offer RSS feeds for people to subscribe and receive news, you should also consider using one. RSS is slightly changing the email publishing. Although there are still email newsletters and ezine owners who still use email marketing, RSS is gaining position at rapid speed.

The popularity of RSS can be explained by the ease of use of it. While for email newsletters publishing you webmasters have to deal with complex scripts and subscriber management, RSS publishers don’t have to do anything. They just put the information and it’s automatically syndicated on the site and RSS reader grab the information from there.

Based on your needs, you can invest a little more into RSS reader or you can choose the free one. But you should definitely get one, cause RSS readers save your time by delivering all the important news information into one place.

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