Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Daily Digital Dose (10/6) - subscribe to a web site using RSS

I read today that Google, the search engine, indexes over 4 billion web pages. With that much content on the web, how do you get the information you want? Instead of searching for content, let the content come to you using a News Aggregator or RSS Reader.
A news aggregator is a piece of software that lets you "subscribe" to websites of your choosing. You can subscribe to any website that provides a syndicated feed, usually in RSS or XML format. Look on your favorite websites for an indicator that it has a feed available; there are two such indicators on this blog for example.

Once you find a site you like that you can subscribe to you need the news aggregator. There are many great aggregators available, a Google search will find dozens. For my use, I use SharpReader, which is a free application. After you've installed your aggregator, you just tell it what the site addresses are that you want content from. You can choose numerous sites and the aggregator will pull the content from those sites into one central place as you can see by the screenshot above.
For true digital mavens, a simple but full explanation into RSS as well as reviews of news aggregators and RSS readers is available at cNet.

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