As I’ve blogged before here, RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is growing by leaps and bounds, and if you haven’t yet gotten on the bandwagon so that you can experience its benefits, you are really missing out on a neat technology. This week CNET has an explanatory article that contains a video tutorial that’ll take about 5 minutes to view and that will provide you an excellent overview.
An additional way to become familiar with RSS is to check out a service I recently discovered on the web that is a web based FREE service called bloglines that makes it possible to experience RSS without having to purchase a free standing RSS reader, like FeedDemon, which is the one I use.
Also recently in an email exchange with my friend Phil Petty, he asked, “is there any redundancy, for you, between FEED DEMON and CEO EXPRESS (the site I use as my home page)? You seem to have access to your favorite periodicals/newspapers through CEO Express; why duplicate efforts? Do you feel you need both? why? what am I missing here?”
My answer to him was, “As I said in my first response there is no duplication in these two applications. Yes, there are links on CEO Express, but they are not actively updated with the content that changes at the web sites daily. The RSS reader will pull up the content of MULTIPLE web sites and display the ‘headlines’ of that content along with a brief summary of it.” Then I added, “The thing that I think you might benefit from is trying the RSS reader rather than trying to understand it completely in the abstract BEFORE you download it. [Your current] approach … implies you are going to make a purchase, so you’d better learn about it first. That’s not necessary with something like this. You should, instead (again, in my opinion) download it, install it, try it out and see whether it offers you anything that you find valuable. If it doesn’t, then you can remove it after your 30 day trial period is passed.”
My suggestion to Phil and to all of you is that you experience this capability and THEN decide whether or not you find it useful. I’m confident that once you’ve tried it you’ll find that it is so much more convenient than simply browsing to different web sites to see whether they have changed that you’ll come to see this service as essential to your use and enjoyment of the Internet.