How RSS Enhances My Internet Experience

RSS

Do you think MySpace, Facebook, and Hotmail are about as exciting as the Internet gets? Let me give you a glimpse into how RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you talk to) helps enrich my Internet experience.

Holla At Me

In my earlier web-surfing years, I would go from site, to site, to site, reading all the new articles and updates on my usual list of websites. I had them all in my browser favourites and would go down my list to see which ones had some interesting new stuff for me to go through. That proved to be time-consuming: some sites had interesting stuff, many didn’t, and some had not even been updated at all.

Enter RSS!

Now, instead of going through my favourites or bookmarks, RSS allows me to subscribe to my favourite sites and let them tell me what the newest content is. The site’s RSS feed also lets me read older content as well. This is possible by using an RSS feed reader; my reader of choice is Google Reader. It takes all of my subscriptions and puts them in one place so I can see all the updates to favourite sites at the same time — no more bouncing from site to site means I save a bunch of time. Google Reader also makes it easy for me to organize my subscriptions and even gives me statistics on my reading habits.

There are many other feed readers out there, you can try them out and see which one you like best. The coolest thing about it is, I can even read a site’s content without even going to their webpage! However, this depends on how much the site lets you read through their RSS feed, but you can always click through to the website from your feed reader.

Show Me What You Got

RSS is great for sharing stuff and opens the door to a whole new way of being social; on the web! For starters, with RSS I can share my del.icio.us bookmarks (What’s del.icio.us?), my blog posts, and stuff from my favourite websites (using Google Reader).

Shey, you’ve confused me

I don’t blame you if the whole RSS thing still doesn’t make sense, but watch this video, these guys explain it much better than I can:

Here are some links to more information about RSS and how you can use it to enhance your Internet experience:

If you already use RSS, what other ways does it help enrich your time online?

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and questions!

  • When are you going to get Disqus on here? 😛

    Great article. Loved the way you started it off. Before RSS, it sucked balls when you went to a site hoping for an update and it wasn’t there. Then weeks later after you’ve forgotten all about it, there it is!

    Corvida’s last blog post..Grand Effect Gets A Grand Redesign

  • Thanks! Disqus is coming really soon, promise 🙂

  • When are you going to get Disqus on here? 😛

    Great article. Loved the way you started it off. Before RSS, it sucked balls when you went to a site hoping for an update and it wasn’t there. Then weeks later after you’ve forgotten all about it, there it is!

    Corvida’s last blog post..Grand Effect Gets A Grand Redesign

  • Thanks! Disqus is coming really soon, promise 🙂

  • Regarding RSS, my sentiments exactly! I think we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to really using RSS and XML to full advantage as well. Looking forward to services that take apart RSS feeds field by field and manipulate that data.. that to me is what web 2.0 is all about!

    RSSmeme, Techmeme, BlogRize, FriendFeed.. all of these services leverage (at least in part) RSS feeds to build new product and new views on what people are saying and what people find interesting. It’s still very fresh and new, and I can see people who are just getting started would be confused or put off.. but big things are going to happen. And RSS will be at the core of that change.

    J. Phil’s last blog post..Digsby News: Facebook Chat Support

  • Regarding RSS, my sentiments exactly! I think we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to really using RSS and XML to full advantage as well. Looking forward to services that take apart RSS feeds field by field and manipulate that data.. that to me is what web 2.0 is all about!

    RSSmeme, Techmeme, BlogRize, FriendFeed.. all of these services leverage (at least in part) RSS feeds to build new product and new views on what people are saying and what people find interesting. It’s still very fresh and new, and I can see people who are just getting started would be confused or put off.. but big things are going to happen. And RSS will be at the core of that change.

    J. Phil’s last blog post..Digsby News: Facebook Chat Support

  • zoe

    i am so torn over RSS.

    While it’s handy, convenient and fast i do have to major problems with it:

    1) It gets out of control. Seriously, you leave it for a day and BAM! it’s jam packed and takes forever to get back down again. i find that when this happens i tend to not read blog thoroughly or just do a headline scan for anything the sparks my interest. truthfully I may be missing some great content.

    2) You don’t get the experience of the blog. I know you said that this was a plus for you, but people spend a lot of time thinking about their layout, pictures (essentially, their brand) but it all looks the same in a feeder.

    See? that’s why im torn 😉

    z

    zoe’s last blog post..Day 1: Before

  • I can understand that.

    But I think the first point is just related to having too much noise in your feed reader. I have the same problem too, trust me. For now, all we can do is be really strict on what we subscribe to. I plan on looking at the feeds I currently have to see if I’ve even looked at it in the last month. If not, they get cut.

    Your second point is a good one. And there isn’t any real solution when it comes to blog feeds. But I think what it comes down to is that the content is what is most important. Plus i’m not sure folks would want their designs syndicated as well 😛

  • zoe

    i am so torn over RSS.

    While it’s handy, convenient and fast i do have to major problems with it:

    1) It gets out of control. Seriously, you leave it for a day and BAM! it’s jam packed and takes forever to get back down again. i find that when this happens i tend to not read blog thoroughly or just do a headline scan for anything the sparks my interest. truthfully I may be missing some great content.

    2) You don’t get the experience of the blog. I know you said that this was a plus for you, but people spend a lot of time thinking about their layout, pictures (essentially, their brand) but it all looks the same in a feeder.

    See? that’s why im torn 😉

    z

    zoe’s last blog post..Day 1: Before

  • I can understand that.

    But I think the first point is just related to having too much noise in your feed reader. I have the same problem too, trust me. For now, all we can do is be really strict on what we subscribe to. I plan on looking at the feeds I currently have to see if I’ve even looked at it in the last month. If not, they get cut.

    Your second point is a good one. And there isn’t any real solution when it comes to blog feeds. But I think what it comes down to is that the content is what is most important. Plus i’m not sure folks would want their designs syndicated as well 😛

  • Excellent post. Thanks for the interesting info, i think i should try using RSS to give an advantage to my blogs …thanks again

    PSP Internet’s last blog post..PSP Internet

  • Excellent post. Thanks for the interesting info, i think i should try using RSS to give an advantage to my blogs …thanks again

    PSP Internet’s last blog post..PSP Internet