The beauty of RSS is that is saves time. Rather than navigating, searching, clicking, and waiting for a web site’s pages to load, RSS allows you to receive a summary of a web site’s (or blog’s) content as an RSS “feed”.
In an RSS reader each news item included in a feed will appear an an item with a title and corresponding summary (or entire contents) of the item. Good RSS readers allow a user to easily scan through RSS feed items at a glance while still providing features that allow saving an item for later, emailing, or blogging a specific item.
Imagine the time it might take to track the news being published on 20 different websites each and every day. A web surfer would have to visit those sites, search and find the latest news, click on all of the stories, wait for them to load, etc. With a good RSS reader, a web surfer would be able to scan all the news for those same sites in a few minutes, rather than clicking around for an hour or more using conventional surfing methods.
I recommend two RSS readers. One reader is web based and one works with Microsoft Outlook. Both readers enable quick digestion of information and maximize screen real-estate.
1.) Google Reader – This latest version of the web-based Google Reader is well made and a great RSS reader. It is a very quick web application, maximizes screen real-estate, and allows a user to manage RSS feeds easily. I haven’t always loved web-based RSS readers but Google Reader is a great product and possibly one of Google’s best. It is free and can be used anywhere there is an Internet connection.
2.) Newsgator Outlook Edition – Newsgator Outlook Edition is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook. Each RSS feed appears as a folder in Outlook. Each item title is like an email subject, and item content appears in the body pane of Outlook. If you use Outlook all the time this a great reader allowing for very efficient at a glance scanning and processing of news items. Newsgator for Outlook also syncs with Newsgator’s included web version.
One more tip: If you don’t have a scroll mouse, get one! A good mouse with a scroll wheel makes scanning through news in an RSS aggregator even faster. In FireFox you can hold down CTRL and move the scroll wheel to shrink the font size and further maximize screen real-estate.