RSS feed 101: Why and how to use RSS feed?

EXPE
EXPE

Currently wondering where to squeeze a few extra minutes in your day AND carve out some much needed mental wellbeing?

For those addicted to their browsers, do I have the solution – RSS. It’s not that big of a surprise given the title, but still…

It’s going to make your life way more productive.

What do we mean when we say RSS feeds?

First, let’s clear what RSS stands for. The abbreviation comes from ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and/or (depending on who you ask) ‘Rich Site Summary’. As the name(s) suggests, RSS serves as an easy way to syndicate content from multiple sites and access them in bulk via an RSS reader.

 

The feed reader can ‘read’ an RSS feed, which is a text file found in the source code of a website written in XML. The RSS feed presents the content of each post published on the site to its most important contents – title, URL and a brief summary or the beginning of an article. But that’s all in the past. Today, RSS feeds send the entire body of articles to an RSS feed reader alongside full images and some video.

Why even use RSS feeds?

Just because Google Reader died and people grew disenchanted with blogging as a whole doesn’t mean the Internet outgrew the necessity for RSS. On the contrary, right now we need RSS more than ever! It’s a no-brainer to adopt RSS, especially with today’s generation of advanced readers.

Consider how many news and culture sites, social media and newsletters you keep up with daily. Doesn’t it sound relieving to know that you can open one dashboard to access them all?

That’s what RSS does and does better than any other productivity tool out there!

Comfortable way to consume news

Everybody consumes news in ways we never thought we would a decade ago, and it’s so easy to lose sleep and sanity over the never-ending doom scroll. With a 24/7 news cycle on our hands, a helping hand in RSS makes news consumption manageable.

 

The great strength of RSS is that you control your sources (to limit the volume) and structure your time better. Depending on the RSS reader you choose, there are ways to manage your reading even better. Inoreader, for instance, values users’ attention spans and spares them the barrage of news headlines that repeat themselves across publications with Duplicate Feeds.

Keeps you informed about the topics you like

Where RSS excels in is capturing your interests and helping you discover content like never before. Advanced RSS readers recommend specific feeds based on your interests to help you broaden your subscription list. The same goes about internal search, where you turn to the reader’s database to seek out excellent content. Inoreader prioritizes discovery and empowers users to find new quality content on any subject through the use of Sort by Magic.

Saves you time

Time is of the essence and there’s no better time to rescue your precious minutes performing dumb, menial tasks than switching to RSS, because RSS readers automate everything about browsing and reading on the Internet.

Entire articles come to your dashboard from as many subscriptions as you want and you only have to open one browser tab or one application. Say goodbye to manually loading sites one after the other or refresh their homepages for new posts. New posts arrive in a chronological order seconds upon publication.

How to use it?

Never had an RSS feed reader before? Or perhaps you used one ages ago and are not sure if things haven’t changed a bit too much since back then?

We’ll walk you through it. Sure, hearing about ‘advanced RSS readers’ might make some people a little nervous, but there’s nothing too complicated. RSS readers are built with user experience in mind so are naturally intuitive.

Choose an RSS feed reader

You’re spoiled for choice. Most RSS readers have the same basic features and operate similarly. Most differences emerge once you think about what you want. Would it be a browser reader with an extension or a mobile application? Inoreader, as most others, offers users both.

 

Other questions worth asking are – Do you need offline access? Are you invested in filters and other features? Do you want to pay extra for bigger plans?

Choose topics you would like to follow

RSS readers make it easy to follow different topics by grouping your subscriptions based on their subject matter. You won’t see posts from The Economist intermixing with articles from Electric Literature. Some readers directly suggest topics of interests as soon as a user creates their own account. Furthermore, users are able to organize and group their subscriptions in folders and add tags to make them easy to find later on.

Check the recommendations

If you’re stuck on what feeds to check out, you might want to check out the recommendations. In readers like Inoreader, you see the most popular RSS feeds at the forefront. These are the sites that most users trust and subscribe to. Not only do you receive ideas about how to compliment your reading, but you know the recommendations are trusted and liked.

Additionally, users can gain access to collections curated by other users and discover another layer of curation!

Enjoy the best content everyday

RSS is above all else a champion of quality. Rather than be at the mercy of social media and other algorithms that bombard you randomly with content, RSS prioritizes the quality of information and its value. What you read in your reader is there, because you chose so – there’s quite a lot of power in that. Also, knowing you’ve saved yourself from aimless scrolling.

 

You save invaluable time and have a powerful tool to research any project. RSS is particularly useful for journalists and marketers who need a lot of quality data. Inoreader assists in such tasks with additional features like filters and rules to further lead you to the best possible content within your subscriptions.

 

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