The genius of RSS feeds

When you train your dog to bring you the morning paper, that is a neat trick. When you train your computer to bring you news you want to read, that is an RSS feed.

I never fully appreciated RSS feeds for what they can do until I started reading the book We the Media by Dan Gillmor. The underlying idea is that you don’t need to search the Internet for the things that interest you but that they come to you through your RSS subscriptions and preferences.

This is useful for you when you want to be kept up to date on certain topics. Anytime there is an article, your RSS feed is updated to show it. I currently use Google Reader to keep track of blogs, job postings, and news.

Gillmor discusses another way to use RSS, which is to follow what is being said about yourself. This is a good way for popular bloggers and organizations to know what is going on in their realm and connects with their readers on a different level.

Honestly, I haven’t used RSS feeds enough in the past but I’m starting to really appreciate what they do. It could particularly be very helpful for my current job search!

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4 Responses

  1. chewbear says

    It is pretty awesome! I’ve been looking through the Recommended items, and there are usually some really great photographs and funny articles too.
    I have a folder for different categories of blogs that I read, and that helps keep things in order.

    I’ll try to spend some time on Twitter and figure that out, thanks for the tip!

  2. Layla says

    Thanks for info on Google Reader!
    I haven’t been there for a while, probably need to check it out again and try to sort things out!

    I can get a bit overwhelmed with Twitter (or FB) too!
    There are programs that let you sort everyone into groups (kinda like lists you can now build on Twitter itself, those may take more time to build though, not sure) I haven’t used any yet, they might make things more simple though. Someone wrote they made lists for interesting people and then only follow those!

  3. chewbear says

    In Google Reader you can organize them into folders and tags, so I think you could really feel more in control. (Also, you can see pictures and videos in there too!) I often go to the original site too, but using the reader cuts down on the amount of time I need to spend finding and reading posts.

    I haven’t really used Twitter too much lately, but I do check it out to see what is going on currently! But people update so often, and I’m following so many people that I feel like I can never keep up with it. I just don’t know how to manage it yet without feeling like I need to devote hours to it!

  4. Layla says

    Hmm, I never fully appreciated RSS yet either! :)

    I prefer to just go to a site and take a look, with photos and all! :)

    I could easily get overwhelmed with too many interesting things on Google RSS subscriber, or with the sheer number of blogs/posts to check!

    Or is it smarter to have a couple of Google Reader accounts, one for each interest? Hm!
    That could possibly be interesting!

    Actually I like Twitter as a sort of ‘filter’/news service of interesting things!