Today is RSS Awareness Day, and as a daily user of RSS feeds, I’ve got, né, want, to do my part! I love the convenience of RSS, and that convenience is behind every reason I love RSS feeds.
Easily Email Articles to Friends
Not a single day passes that I don’t come across an article that reminds me of someone. Some web pages provide an “Email this!” link, but then I have to go look up my friend’s email address. Google Reader, since it is linked to my Gmail account, auto-populates my friend’s email address after I have typed a few letters of their name, just like Gmail does.
Plus, I can send the article to as many people as I want (some sites only allow you to send the article to one person!) and include a note.
Compile My Favorite Articles in One Place
You can use a social bookmarking site, like del.icio.us or Diigo to compile all your favorite web sites, but those sites only link to your faves. Using Google Reader’s “Share” button, I create a web page, on the fly, that contains all my favorite sites. Here’s my Shared Items page.
Get the Best from the Web Without Lifting a Finger
Okay, okay, you got me. You do have to lift a finger, but just barely. Lift it enough to click that little orange RSS Feed button, the set it back down on your mouse to click. That’s it; you have subscribed to your favorite web page, be it the New York Times Health feed, the Astronomy Picture of the Day feed (one of my personal favorites), or one of your friend’s/family member’s blog.
The word of the day is “convenience.” If you find yourself wasting time browsing the internet without purpose; if you find yourself missing out on news, world or familial; or if you just want an easier way to share cool websites with your friends and family, an RSS reader is what you’re looking for. Try it for one month.
(This post wasn’t intended to explain how RSS works, but if you are curious, Common Craft’s video “RSS in Plain English” explains RSS in, well, ya know, easy-to-understand terms.)