RSS stands for Really Sweet Stories. Okay it doesn’t stand for that, but the stories is what it’s all about. It’s a web-technology that helps these Really Sweet Stories (like this one), news & information reach you in your web-browser (Internet Explorer or Firefox) rather than you going after it, day after day. If there’s one tech habit you acquire in 2008, let it be the habit of subscribing to various RSS feeds and getting your information through there.
How will subscribing to RSS, make my life better?
1. A Huge Time Saving: Most of us are spending more and more time on the web. Although the web is a great tool (the best really) for information, entertainment, staying connected with friends etc., it is a HUGE time-waster too. By getting information via RSS you can iscan through 40 to 50 webpages within 5 easy minutes, with no stress whatsoever. You settle upon which you’d like to read, then with the help of some RSS Readers you can choose to read it right away or mark it for later.
2. Keeps you Focused: By having subscribed to RSS feeds of only the websites that matter it will restrict you & hence be focused on the information you need to receive. Furthermore in an RSS reader you are spared from the clutter such as Ads & other distractions such as cute graphics and other information on the side panels of a website. The absence of which keeps you concentrated on the core message. Otherwise it’s very easy to be swayed away link to link and then forgetting what it was that you initially came to the website for.
3. Keeps you updated with the latest News: Instead of buying the newspaper, waiting for someone at home or office to finish it, or even instead of typing the URL to go to the website, the RSS reader pulls the News from BBC, Times of India, The Hindu or any news website and has it delivered to you for it to be read at your computer or your phone (more on this below). It’s a highly efficient way to stay on top of things, with minimum effort, very little time and without feeling overwhelmed.
4. Helps you restart your lost hobbies, interests & passions: Here’s where RSS has really helped me. I love writing, but for some reason either lack of organisation or motivation couldn’t get myself to write regularly. By subscribing to a whole lot of writing Blogs, I was exposed to the material regularly for 6 whole months. It supplied not only with the motivation, but even the method and the tools to finally make me take my passion seriously.
What is that one thing that you really want to do but can’t seem the time to do it? Is it some sport, exercising, starting a book or even a business maybe? Whatever it is your interest lies in there are hundreds of quality websites & blogs on the topic that are regularly updating information on that topic. By subscribing to RSS you don’t need to go to visit that information every time. It will be delivered to you. And reading it for long enough witll eventually spur you to go and do something about it.
5.Keeps you in touch with friends: Many of my friends have Blogs now. Thanks to RSS it’s really easy to keep up with the ongoings of their lives and their writings in just a few clicks.
6. Keeps you updated when you’re on the go. Sometimes, days pass by when I don’t go online on my laptop. I don’t need to. Just one glance to the RSS feeds in my mobile and I get to know the latest headlines, the weather and any info on the blogs/websites that I track. This is another huge time saver, as very often I’m at our various sites or I come across 10 minutes of time when a meeting is delayed and thanks to RSS in that small bucket of time I process a massive amount of information then.
How do I subscribe to RSS? Well it’s really very easy…
Step 1: Get an RSS Reader. There are plenty of Free readers out there. Google Reader seems to be the more popular one, we (me and Ali) prefer NetVibes. You can read Ali’s review of how useful NetVibes is by clicking here. Google Reader or NetVibes, either one is absolutely fine.
Step 2:Look for the orange icon.Be it a news site, a sports site, or even a filmy site, most of them now support RSS. How would you know, just look for the Orange icon. You can see one on top of this blog post, on the right hand side of the home page of our Blog.
Step 3: Subscribe.
a. Just Click on the Icon,
b. Copy the web address from your browser
c. Head over to your RSS Reader.
d. Click on Add/Subscribe to Feed.
e. Paste the web address there and click on Subscribe.
Step 4: Make your Rss reader your home page. Now to ensure that you read your RSS regularly, it would be a good idea to make this page, your home page. So that whenever you open your browser, it’s this page you are directed to. Which again is quite simple to do:
a. Click on Tools and then Options (or Internet Options) from your web browser.
b. Click on ‘Use Current’ under the Home Page option, beneath the Main/General tab.
That’s it. You’ve Done it! Hey, hey, now go treat yourself to warm cup of cappuccino with Hazelnut syrup. :-)
RSS in Plain English: a video on RSS:
I particularly like the short video right titled RSS in Plain English. It’s only 3.5 minutes seconds long and explains the benefits and how to subscribe to RSS in an very nice & simple way.
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