RSS is the future Today!

Perhaps not entirely, but its a good start. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” (at least it does now) and is a great way to read sites that update often. Using a RSS aggregator such as NetNewsWire Lite, one can compile dozens of sites into one common interface which allows you to read new information really fast, and get a lot of new information at one time.

Say you’ve got a bunch of blogs you read everyday, plus you’ve got to get your news fix from yahoo or google news or whatever. Why go to each individual site when you can get all that reading done in one swoop?? Plus with all the free time you save, you can subscribe to more blogs and more news and stuff your head even more in the same amount of time!

Set up NetNewsWire Lite:
First download and install it to you applications folder. Then Drag it to your dock. Start it up, and you’ll have a bunch of feeds that you probably aren’t too interested in, but thats ok, because they show you how it works. Click on the NetNewsWire Lite drop down menu and click on “Preferences” Click on the “Browsing” tab and check the “Open links in background” option. Click the “Downloading” tab and change the Refresh rate to “Every 30 Minutes” Close out of the Preferences window

The hardest part of setting up the aggregator is actually finding the feeds to the sites you want. There’s got to be an easy way, I just don’t know it. For xanga sites, you can use the afore mentioned rss helper since xanga can’t do it on there own. Just type the username into the box and it will find the URL for the feed. Copy the URL and go back to NetNewsWire Lite. Click on the “Subscribe” button at the top and the link should appear. Hit ok, and you’ve got some feeds to read! For news sites, you can usually find a link somewhere on the page. Like at news.yahoo.com there’s a section on the left call “News via RSS” . Click on the yellow box, copy the URL and subscribe to it in the RSS aggregator of your choice.

You can delete the feeds you don’t like by selecting them and hitting the “delete” key. You can even group your feeds into different folders by clicking “File” and then “New Group”. Then drag similar feeds to that folder. Pretty nice.

What’s cool is that you can let your unread feeds build up and then read them all at once. As long as NetNewsWire Lite is running it will check every 30 minutes for new feeds, and it keeps a running total on the dock icon, which is very cool.

Shortcut keys:
hitting the spacebar will move through each new feed entry. It will also page-down for longer blog entries. This is the easiest way I’ve found to navigate through your feeds. Command + k will mark all in the particular fee as “read”. Sometimes necessary because the technology isn’t perfect.

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