RSS feed readers. Forgotten no more!
Haven’t you heard? RSS is back in vogue and we’ve been way overdue for a revival of the most persistent technology since the invention of the Internet. You might be sleeping on RSS readers, but that doesn’t mean RSS readers have been sleeping.
You’d be surprised just how much you can do with an RSS feed reader.
RSS feed simply explained
Now. For the uninformed, here’s a crash course into RSS in bullet points:
· RSS is abbreviated from Really Simple Syndication and has existed literally with the birth of the Internet. You can say RSS is intrinsic to the Internet, and it’s a fact that a lot of new technologies are based on RSS.
· RSS helps Internet users follow from as many sites as they want by removing the manual steps of loading sites on your browser. Instead all new posts show up in the dashboard of your RSS feed reader, where you can view them in order of publication date.
· The RSS feed reader subscribes to a website through its RSS feed, which is an XML file located in the site’s source code. When a new post is published, the RSS feeds updates and then when the RSS reader crawls the feed, it spots the new update and pulls the post.
Why adopt an RSS feed reader in your day to day?
Honestly, RSS makes life so much easier. I know! Every productivity app on the Internet says that, but as someone who spends a lot of time going through news sites and online publications, RSS is really what I needed to organize my reading.
RSS feed readers are incredibly scalable so that they’re convenient for casual users – these would be people who have a lot of interests and closely follow the news around the world. That’s the kind of person who follows journalists online. Makes all the difference to have everything in one place.
Once you get into the paid plans, you start to see the benefits for small businesses. There are a lot more features aimed at deep research, collaboration and automation with the rest of a company’s digital infrastructure.
What are the innovations that currently matter most?
Google Chrome extension
RSS readers exist both as an application for mobile devices and for browsers. Most readers offer its users access to both formats. Sure, there’s convenience to have your reader open as a side tab. However, it can become distracting to continuously switch between tabs.
Sometimes you don’t even want to keep your RSS feed reader open. In those cases, there’s a new solution needed – the browser extension. Feeder and Inoreader both advertise extensions, through which you can do a quick check on the latest updates in your dashboard. It’s convenient and very flexible. Inoreader’s extension can also detect RSS feeds on a site and subscribe to them directly on the spot. No jumping through hooks.
You can fully personalize your profile
I personally don’t need much to be pleased UI-wise. RSS feed readers are fairly straightforward and user-friendly to new users. You don’t need to spend a lot of time to learn how to operate one, but power users can find it advantageous to play around with color modes and rearrange layouts.
In that regard, RSS feed readers always try to come up with new ways to endear to its users. The most basic things you can do is choose dark mode or set how you want new updates to appear – in a collapsed or expanded. Then come the heavy-duty alterations, which vary from reader to reader. In the cases of Feeder and Inoreader, you can break your dashboard into multiple columns to track separate feeds or groups of feeds. For Feeder that’s five and for Inoreader that’s three.
You browse through popular feeds and user-shared content
One of the most fascinating trends in RSS is the emphasis on content discovery in the reader itself. Today’s generation gives users a different level of involvement with what’s popular. Feedly has a well-rounded discovery area where you can see popular feeds and a solid search function. The Old Reader values the social connections you make. As a result, it shows users what their friends share and even has a trending page for articles that have received the most engagement.
Inoreader elevates those websites with the most subscribers in its database. This promotes content that’s been judged valuable by thousands of people. Whether you can trust that content is a very, very different conversation, but you definitely tap into the zeitgeist and have a better position to observe trends.
You can discover different topics
Content discovery doesn’t end with popular feeds. RSS feed readers think about the most optimal user experience and suggest feeds based on subject. Some readers like Inoreader will outright ask you what topics you’re interested in as you make your account and recommend you top feeds based on your tastes. That’s all passive discovery.
Active discovery has all to do with internal search. Inoreader has quite the developed search. Users can scan not just their subscriptions, but the entire database of feeds on Inoreader to find what they need and in great detail. Combine that with different filters and you have a fantastic way to follow important news stories as they develop in time.
You have different business features
Digital businesses have the most use for RSS readers, because with a business plan most readers are quite adept at handling tasks such as keyword monitoring, social media listening and research. Once you upgrade to pro & business plans, you unlock integrations with platforms like Zapier for additional automation and ability to sync to podcasts, YouTube and other social media services.
Inoreader in particular enables users to create teams, where team members share articles useful for every type of project. The social aspect can also be seen in RSS feed readers like Feeder, which enables sharing and the creation of groups for smarter sharing.