Who Moved My Library?

Commentary on the changing world of libraries, from the viewpoint of a corporate library.

Monday, October 17, 2005

RSS Feeds and Blogs

I have been investigating different ways to stay up-to-date with the many blogs I am now reading. One way to do this is with an RSS feeder. I think I have it figured out so I’m going to walk you through it so you can use one too.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication,” You can read more about RSS at How Stuff Works, Wikipedia, XML.com. Essentially you can download a program, load different “feeds” of blogs in to the program and then use the feeder software to read the newest entries on your favorite blogs.

There are many different readers available: SharpReader, NewsGator, NetNewsWire, FeedDemon, RSSbandit, Shrook, and FeedReader are a few. I downloaded FeedReader because it was said to be the easiest to use and it was free. I tried to figure out the RSS feeder that came with Mozilla’s FireFox browser but I couldn’t.

Anyway, all I have to do is locate the XML RSS Feed URL on any blog (I haven’t been able to figure out why some have one and others don’t – is that an option for the author?) and add the feed to FeedReader. The look and feel of FeedReader is similar to Outlook mail. Now I can see which blogs have new entries that I haven’t read and I can read each entry like I read email messages.

So far I’m liking it, I’m liking it a lot!


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