So I assumed everyone already knew about RSS readers until this week someone looked over my shoulder when I was reading my customised http://www.live.com/ page and was surprised to learn what it was about and how efficient it is to scan a whole heap of websites in a rapid speed using a RSS reader.
So if you don't use a RSS reader yet go to Live and set up your page, you can then configure your customised layout, as a way of getting started I've included a couple of my custom pages as import links below.
In it's simplest form the description of a RSS feed is a list of headlines (and often a short description) from a series of articles on a web page.
Instead of needing to go to http://www.smh.com.au/ for me to see whats new online today I just go to http://www.live.com/ and see the new articles, or the new articles of the individual sections that i choose to subscribe to (http://www.smh.com.au/rsschannels/)
Whenever you see a symbol like this or you know that you can download this feed to your RSS reader and have updates sent to you as and when they happen.
If you use Live.com and want to add a feed to your page you right mouse click the link then log into Live.com and in the top left of the page click "Add Stuff".
Then click on advance tab and then drop the url directly into the second box "add gadget by url". You can then drop and drag the gadget onto various tabs and rename/add tabs as you require.
There are also a whole heap of other "gadgets" like weather, international time or flickr etc you can select under the "Add Stuff" tab.
I generally don't add more than a single page on a tab, this way I don't need to scroll down to scan a page.
As well as Live.com, Google and Yahoo also have their own web based RSS readers so check out which one you like the best. Or you can also check out non web based readers that are actually client .exe programs that install on your pc and update themselves each time you connect to the internet so you can read them offline.
I hope this was of interest, if you have any questions email me - or if you have been using RSS for a while and have some comments post them below so other people can read them and learn from your experience.
P.S. Now you can go and add my blog http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/rss.xml to your RSS reader and always be up to date when I post a new article :)
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