If you’re not using an RSS feed reader, you’re not optimizing your time to the fullest!
In the age of productivity tools, I’m positive you’ve encountered this slogan more than once – it doesn’t seem plausible. But RSS is the exception. If your work requires you to go through a lot of content from multiple sources, then RSS is the tool that will help you feel reborn. RSS has persisted over the years and stayed in step with the times. It works, it solves a real problem and assists in all personal and professional endeavors.
It’s in the Zeitgeist. Many tech writers talk about the rediscovery and re-adoption of RSS. It’s time for everybody to fall in love with RSS again. An RSS feed reader is an essential app to have on any mobile device.
As mentioned, RSS has been here for a long, long time. You can rightfully say it’s the little piece of programming that shaped the Internet we know today. It’s such a simple piece of programming. Rich Text Summary or Really Simple Syndication (have your pick between the two) gives users access to content published across multiple sites and platforms via an RSS feed reader.
An RSS feed is an XML file in the site, which sends a notification to the RSS reader when a new article goes up on the site. The RSS feed reader then pulls the update to its dashboard and displays it in full. All updates are showcased in chronological order from oldest to newest. RSS feed readers initially syndicated content from blogs and new sites, but have since developed native support for newsletters, social media, forums, hashtags and podcasts.
Is it still relevant?
RSS has pivoted into the realm of business solutions. Readers like Inoreader stand toe to toe with apps like SproutSocial when it comes to social media listening and brand monitoring. RSS readers have been offering business plans for years with packed features spanning everything from smart filters and impressive search functions to handling duplicated headlines.
They’re perfect for research, because they’ve developed team features that allow more than one person to share and comment on articles at the same time. The great benefit is that you keep the content in one place, but eliminate the distractions of longer conversations that would happen in Discord or Slack. Users directly write on articles and leave comments that help out.
If you want even greater flexibility, you can send saved articles to Google Drive. Inoreader has a built-in feature that shares them as a Google Doc file ready for edits!
Why do people use it?
RSS captures the true spirit of automation. Everything you read is allocated to a single dashboard and you do not have to visit each site manually by hand. The RSS reader performs regular checks on feeds and refreshes the dashboard regularly, so users receive the newest articles and posts near simultaneously. The purely chronological feed shaves off time from your browsing. Inoreader even helps you remove the pressure from having too many unread articles. It has a special feature Only Today’s News in a Folder, which deletes articles within a week (or less).
Do you want to share an article on social media? Most RSS feed readers have share buttons for all articles, so you can share relevant articles to your accounts within your RSS reader.
RSS bypasses social media – you receive content directly. No distractions. No time wasted in idle scrolling. Time is always of the essence. RSS feed readers help you reclaim it back.
Have everything at one place
I have found that the best thing about RSS readers is that they are home to all your favorite sites and blogs. They travel with you on the phone, on a tablet and are accessible on browsers as well. I am so relieved that I can open one dashboard and select one of the many publications I enjoy. The best readers even offer offline features to access articles in a pinch when there is no connection to the Internet.
Perhaps even more useful is the support for other types of feeds. In recent years, RSS feed readers have made room for feeds from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and now even Telegram. Inoreader has a complete search for Reddit. Now you can truly follow developing news stories from journalists, statements made by politicians and cute pictures.
Not bad for a single application!
Read information from trusted sources
Do you trust what you read while browsing social media or even places like Imgur? How can you absolutely know it’s not misleading or outright false? The war on misinformation has been lost to a larger degree. In a world where most articles sound like they’ve been written by The Onion, you can’t be your own fact-checker all the time.
RSS readers give users back some sense of control over what they read without having to resort to fact-checking themselves through Snopes. After all, you manage your own subscriptions. You should know what goes in there. RSS readers also help you discover trustworthy news feeds thanks to dedicated discovery zones, which recommend top feeds among its users.
Follow the most interesting topics
Users can easily follow developing stories and as many topics as they want. RSS readers are true masters when it comes to content discovery. In the case of Inoreader, you have access to topics and sub-topics and user-generated collections. Within each, you can find top RSS feeds. The Old Reader promotes individual articles that have gone viral within its user base, so you can see what is popular with other people – kind of like Twitter, but without the vitriol.
Of course there are other means to discover new and interesting headlines. Inoreader has features like Sort by Magic, which recommends articles based on your interests and preferences. Feedly has an AI assistant, which learns from your user history what articles to recommend.
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