Many people agree that their RSS reader is the first thing they check every morning, it tends to replace that morning newspaper. Some even end up checking it before they read their emails. If RSS disappeared tomorrow, to be replaced with something like Twitter then I would be destined to be like one of those old fashioned folks who thought TV was just a passing fad and only listened to the radio. In reality, Rss readers are all the rage right now. Millions of people would be totally lost without it.
Important information and updates are fed straight to your desktop. You can monitor news, blogs, job listings, personals, and classifieds. More and more sites offer feeds, which can be identify by a small button that says either RSS or XML.
An RSS reader automatically checks multiple RSS feeds for new items on an ongoing basis. The reader will notify you of any updated information without the need to constantly visit the web sites to see if there is any new content.
Most web based readers are free to use, most desktop readers require a one time fee. In the consumer market that fee is generally under $30 but there is a free trial period available and even at roughly thirty dollars, a good RSS reader will have a great return on your investment.
Once you have downloaded and installed a reader, you need to subscribe to an RSS feed. This is a simple process of copying the web address or URL of the feed into the reader. That is all there is to it, the reader does all the rest. Every time any information gets updated, the reader will notify you. One popular type of rss reader makes a doorbell sound and instantly, a small window pops up whenever a feed or any feeds update. An important thing to note is to ensure whatever reader you use is capable of understanding RSS version 2.0.
Now, lets explore a few of the different readers available on the market today.
Feeddler RSS Reader is an ideal Google reader client for iPad. Even if you have no 3G and no Wi-Fi, you can still read all your feeds with the Feeddler. You can sync all of your RSS subscriptions whenever you have internet access.
The RiverGate Reader provides you something that most of us have only dreamed of, our personal newspaper. It allows the reader to customize the type of information required. You can retrieve information from a variety of sources through this reader such as blogs, the media, news websites and podcasts.
Some readers, like Pluck and Sage, can be installed on your desktop to work with your Web browser. Others, like Newsgator, Bloglines, and Google Reader, are Web-based readers, so you do not have to download anything. Some popular Web portals like My Yahoo, also work as RSS readers.
The advantage of having RSS work with an existing app is that you likely have Outlook or IE open already, so the reader becomes a new component of that app. The disadvantage is that if you have a lot of e-mail folders or bookmarks already established, you may not want to overload your application with daily feeds of new information.
Then there is the Blackberry RSS reader, a simple solution for getting all that news and magazine info online from your Blackberry. Lite feeds has a software for the Blackberry so you can sync and download all the feeds you want. Currently, this service and software is free.
A small but efficient, good reader to consider if you want something more compact is the Snarfer reader.
Their may be a few thousand geeks out there that are beyond Google Reader, but the rest of the world is barely beginning to notice these readers. Twitter and such cannot replace the functionality of RSS readers. Some bloggers out on the web do not even use Twitter at all because they feel like this makes for better, more unique posts.