As my reliance on RSS feeds has increased lately I’ve outgrown my ability, or willingness, to manually keep track of the blogs that I like to follow. From initially wanting to keep up with a small handful of blogs from a few people I know, my needs have now grown to include a much larger number of blogs and feeds that I like to keep up with. Seems that there are lots of folk I know who are now blogging, as well as there being a number of “professional” blogs which I find interesting so the idea of automating the process of tracking them is definitely something I’m interested in.
Fortunately every blog comes with the built-in technology for doing exactly this – RSS. RSS (an acronym for Really Simple Syndication) creates a feed using XML which can be read and regularly checked by software designed to do just that. In effect, it’s a bit like managing email in that I have a list of blogs and websites that I’vesubscribed to, and the updates appear in my reader as soon as an update happens to any of them. I no longer need to remember to check all these sites to see if they’ve been updated – my feed reader does it for me.
On the Mac, I’ve been using a free open source RSS reader called Vienna, and I really like it. Very simple, easy to use and works well. There are a bunch of others of course – I tried NetNewsWire for a while, and although it was pretty good, it wasn’t free whereas Vienna was. I actually prefer Vienna’s interface more too.
There are also a few web-based feedreaders such as Bloglines that work through the browser directly, but I’ve not really played with them very much. I guess I’m still an applications kinda guy 🙂
Either way, an RSS feed aggregator of some sort is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already done so. Managing all my blog and other feeds are so much simpler now that my software does the heavy lifting for me.