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RSS Plainly Explained

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and for those of us struggling to keep up with all the information available on the web, here is my (for now) definitive contribution to the genre of “Why you should use an RSS feed reader, even if you have no idea what RSS is.”

The screencast is broken up into three parts.1 If you're the type that gets off on lists, here is the list of advantage I enumerate (mostly in Part 3, though some are scattered throughout) about what RSS feed readers help you do:

  • Scan vast amounts of information quickly.
  • Read websites according to a custom schedule.
  • Visit many sites in a single application.
  • Stay current with frequently updated sites.
  • Stay current with rarely updated sites.
  • The preceding, put another way: never forget another site again!
  • Save articles for future reference.

There are many other advantages RSS readers provide, so why not get started by playing the videos which follow?

You'll be glad you did. end of article

Note: The videos below can also be viewed using YouTube, simply click the YouTube badge button for the video you want to watch.

Part 1: Why use an RSS Feed Reader? (5 mins 10 secs)
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NB: At 2:44, when I demonstrate scanning newly updated items, 752 new articles is not typical. That number is the effect of adding all 46 items for the first time.

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Part 2: Setting Things Up (5 mins 9 secs)
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In this video, I detail how to set up a new NetNewsWire installation, activating a few features I find useful.

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Part 3: Putting it all Together (7 mins 23 secs)
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This screencast focuses on organizing your RSS feeds and customizing their arrangement.

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A shout-out to Paul and Ayesha. I hope you find this helpful.

1 I had conceived of the screencast as one piece, but when the duration ran to seventeen minutes, I thought it best to break it up into three pieces that each treat slightly different aspects of using an RSS Reader.



+5 for the Holy Grail tune in Part 2.

Nice screen cast; I hope the folks over at NewsGator have a look. There's one thing you didn't mention, though: registering a user account through NewsGator; can you download and use NetNewsWire without doing that?

When I first started using NNW, I also downloaded FeedDemon for my work computer, a Dell running XP. By registering an account with NewsGator, both programs would sync up (plus you could also log in to use any browser as a feed reader with the same subscriptions you set through either NNW or FD). Pretty cool. So I registered as step one without even trying to load up the programs first because I wanted that functionality.

Maybe you could have 3 more screen casts: "Part 4 - Posing to del.icio.us via NNW", "Part 5 - Creating iTunes Playlists from Subscriptions with mp3 Attachments" and "Part 6 - The NNW App on iPhone/iPod Touch".

: D