I know, you’re thinking ‘What IS this RSS and how can I keep up with all of this new tech stuff? Will it ever end?! I don’t even know what they’re SAYING!’ I know because I said that too!
And I sympathize. I remember hearing about this ‘aggregator’ thing for blogs, but I didn’t read that many, so I couldn’t picture how that would be any easier than just viewing the blog page directly. I even observed an room full of librarians investing an hour learning about this new tool. Observed because surely I didn’t need to know about RSS–that was for other people.
And then I’d finally heard enough. The list of blogs I was reading was growing, and it became time-consuming and guilt-producing to either visit them, or not. And there’s a blog I read with lots of older non-savvy readers who were figuring out the site’s new RSS tool; I figured if they could do it, so could I! So I set up an online account with one of the many free RSS readers available. Like with many things 2.0, the set up process just takes a few minutes. And then you’re holding this shiny new ball and are marveling at what to do with it. That’s the part takes longer! You’ve probably even seen a ‘subscribe’ box
or on a website and wondered what it was.
So, in short, I picked a feed reader*, chose a log in, and now I can view a single screen that shows me all the new posts in the blogs I read. There’s other bells and whistles, but if you, too, find your list of blogs, news sites and podcasts growing, choose a provider and set up your account. Then you can just visit that one page (oh, there’s more to this, too, but this is a good first step.) over your morning coffee or your evening wine!
*There’s probably a great, simple list of some of the hundreds of available readers somewhere, but this is just one I found. If you already have a login/password, say, with Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. they probably have an RSS reader that you can tack on to your account, and if one less password is your main criteria for selecting an aggregator, it’s an easy way to choose.