We feed your need

Yes we do RSS. What is RSS? It’s a format for stripping a blog of its non-text items and dividing each entry into useful chunks such as a headline and body text. A news “aggregator” automatically and periodically checks the RSS “feed” of all of your favorite blogs and when it finds new material it downloads the headlines and the first few sentences of each entry. Since only a limited amount of text is downloaded, the process is quick. If you read a lot of blogs, aggregators have two advantages. You won’t waste time checking a site only to find that is has no new material and skimming headlines allows you to more efficiently pass over what is of little interest to you – when you find something that does interest, you can click on that item and more information appears.

Reading blogs through an aggregator can sometimes be annoying as items don’t always format correctly, especially when you want to view non-text items or follow a link from a blog to another site. But aggregators are quickly becoming the delivery method of choice for blog junkies. Wired reports:

Maniacally wired netizens who read a hundred blogs a day and just as many news sources are turning to a new breed of software, called newsreaders or aggregators, to help them manage information overload.

My estimate is that if you regularly read more than 5 blogs a day then you should try an aggregator. On the other hand, once you have found MR why would you go elsewhere?

There are lots of aggregators available. I quite like FeedDemon. Newsgator integrates with Microsoft Outlook. See the Wired link for some other choices. I have not done a side to side comparison so let us know what you like and what works well with MR. If a site has one, FeedDemon will automatically search for and find its RSS feed. If your aggregator doesn’t find our feed the link is on the left hand side of this page above the Google search, the one that says Syndicate this site (XML).


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