What in the world is an RSS feed reader?
If you’re a fan of RSS, you already know what RSS feed readers are and what they’re capable of. But not everyone knows about this incredible simple tool that helps you conquer the Internet.
RSS feed readers are the precursor to mailing lists and the feeds you’re familiar with on social media. Before YouTube Subscriptions, podcast catchers and Twitter feeds, there were RSS feeds – the only way to keep up with whatever website caught users’ fancy.
An RSS feed reader allows users to subscribe to numerous sites and then receive new updates for all of them simultaneously. This form of automation certainly cuts down the amount of time spent on visiting individual sites manually and removes additional distractions.
How to use it?
The great thing about RSS feed readers is that they’re intuitive. After all, RSS is the oldest web technology around. You gotta keep things simple.
Today’s RSS readers make it easy to subscribe to feeds. Go to your dashboard and use the search bar to find any relevant sites. If a site has an RSS feed, you’ll find it in the database. If not, there are tools that can generate RSS feeds within seconds and no coding skills. From then on, it’s all a matter of browsing through the latest updates.
It takes you minutes to get the hang of the basics and from then on it’s a low learning curve for the bonus features.
We’re going to look at five topics and how RSS can adapt to give you the best possible experience.
5 interesting topics to follow
Technology perhaps stands on top as the industry with the fastest rate of innovations. No matter where your preferred area of interest lies, you’re likely bombarded with headlines and updates on new technology and its applications. This can make it challenging to follow even when you have an RSS feed reader to manage to brunt of the menial tasks like opening individual sites, refreshing and browsing.
TechCrunch, Gizmodo, The Verge and Wired are known for their large, regular output. It’s near impossible to keep up with every new published article, when each site has so many writers on their roster. This is where RSS feed readers shine as you can check the site for multiple feeds. The Chrome extension for Inoreader does this quite well, so you can subscribe only to the category that matters most. From then on, apply relevant filters.
Inoreader empowers users to filter out the noise by focusing on a single writer or excluding some specific keywords and phrases. That’s an effective way to narrow down what you’re reading to a much more manageable volume and pace. The same strategies can be applied when you’re trying to follow conversations on Twitter.
Business gives technology a run for its money when it comes to its news cycle. Everything about filters applies here in full force, though there are other tricks that you can apply. I personally use Inoreader so I’ve found that its specific features are best suited to additionally organize and manage my subscriptions.
Perhaps the most useful feature here would be Duplicate Filters. Rather than see numerous articles covering the same story, you can discard the repeating headlines and just stick to one article. The other great feature is the Keep Only Today’s News – a folder that immediately deletes any unread articles after a certain point in time, which you set. This way you’re only looking at what’s most recently published.
After last year’s turbulence associated with the GameStop trading wars, Reddit has emerged as a valuable source of information for finances and business. It’s best to think of ways to add some key subreddits to your subscriptions, which is possible for RSS. Inoreader certainly has expanded on how you can follow and even search subreddits effectively.
The field of science has such a rich biodiversity of topics, news and research that it makes it a bit challenging to follow everything you have interest in. RSS readers are perfect for handling the high volume of information coming your way and they also offer support for different mediums as well. With RSS, you can also declutter your email from science newsletters and organize what’s coming to your dashboard into relevant folders.
The newsletter is not as efficient a format as many believe and over half of all delivered newsletters in the world go unread. That’s why the best way to complement your science reading is to migrate your subscriptions to your reader. Some readers come right off the bat with options to subscribe to newsletters outright. In those instances you can’t, there are other workarounds such as free-to-use tools like Kill the Newsletter. Turn any newsletter feed into an RSS feed with a single click of a button and you’re done.
Creative pursuits often live outside the established text-based content ecosystem. It’s a much more visual medium whether it’s images or video content that’s being released. Previously this hasn’t been in RSS readers’ wheelhouse, but that’s not the case now. You can easily follow your favorite creators on YouTube through your Inoreader account.
But why not use YouTube’s own subscriptions feature? I’ve found it clogs fairly easily and doesn’t work effectively when I’m trying to prioritize specific accounts. Users have actively complained that even with the notification bell, they don’t receive notifications. That’s where Inoreader comes in to compensate.
Lifestyle is very much a visual medium as well. Yes, you can effortlessly follow all the other types of media I’ve listed above, but what about image sites like Pinterest and Instagram?
The answer is 100% yes! Using services like Zapier and IFTTT you can sync up accounts, boards, hashtags and searches so you receive exciting new posts as soon as they’re posted. This is for those creators that you simply don’t want to miss at all.