RSS For Idiots, A Quickie…

OK, so you come to my website and read my rants and raves on the various subjects of life. Well, as I’ve written about in the past, I think that the next big thing is web logs (BLOGS). You see, the free movement of information from person to person will usher in a incredible time of technical advancements in the future as the printing press did for humanity a few hundred years ago.

If you start to spend any time looking at web logs you’ll soon start to realize that the more BLOGS you read, the bigger the pain in the buttocks gets going from site to site reading these BLOGS. Well, the pioneers of this blogging technology came up with what’s known as a RSS feed (really simple syndication). Even the big media publication boys are re-working their sites to support RSS. If you are a person who likes reading many different stories from various web sites or BLOGS you can get a free RSS reader and subscribe to any RSS feed out there.

The reader or aggregator will automatically go out and get the article or blog and show it within the application. I liken this to a self-contained, custom newspaper that you, the reader, configures and maintains — COOL HUH?

Free RSS Reader -> http://www.sharpreader.net/

Hey, if you want help on getting a WEB LOG (BLOG) up and running, let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction. Doesn’t everyone have something to say?

So I really started using the Sharp Reader and realized real fast that RSS ROCKS! Instead of mulling through email, I just use the RSS reader and it is so easy to organize my web informational sources. If you have Outlook there is an RSS plug-in available, but I think it cost some dollars.

I’m so impressed with RSS that I sent the following email to some work colleagues:

From: Herschel Horton [mailto:Don’tDoIt]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 2:53 PM
To: Windows_Users;
Subject: RSS Anyone?

OK, hopefully some of you are way ahead here in messing around with RSS (Really Simple Syndication). RSS in the simplest terms is a publication standard now being used by many websites and bloggers.

The problem solved with RSS is simple: how many websites do you have to look at for your information or how many email distributions are you on. With email distribution lists, it is easy for the sites to sell your email address and then you get a ton of spam.
A web site that publishes its content as RSS makes it easy for you and I to use an aggregator to easily get updates (see this TechNet story for more details). Microsoft (list of RSS feeds from Microsoft) as well as many web sources are adding RSS support and it should make your information gathering process much easier. I know that Joe Granto uses a web page to create his own newspaper, which works, but trust me, you start using say the SharpReader RSS client and you’ll never use a Web page to consolidate your news sources again.
-Herschel

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