RRS aggregators are a great way to read your favorite blogs. If you have not tried out a RSS aggregator before, now is the time.
You may have noticed the “button farms” on most blogs with buttons saying XML RSS, FeedBurner, My Yahoo, My MSN and/or Bloglines. (Mine are near the bottom of the left column on this page.) These buttons are links to that blog’s RSS feeds. An RSS feed generally consists of the name of the blog, the title of each post and a brief exerpt from each post. Some blog RSS feeds also contain comments.
RSS aggregators are personal news and information managers. RSS aggregators keep track of which articles you have read and which ones you haven’t. RSS aggregators can be either desktop software or browser-based services.
RSSOwl is a FREE desktop RSS aggregator. RSSOwl works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. In the words of its creators:
- “RSSOwl lets you gather, organize, update, and store information from any compliant source in a convenient, easy to use interface, save selected information in various formats for offline viewing and sharing, and much more. It’s easy to configure, available in many many languages and the best of all: It’s platform-independent. ”
For those not wanting to clutter up their desktops, then perhaps a browser-based solution is best. “Bloglines is a FREE online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. With Bloglines, there is no software to download or install.” One of the advantages of using a service like Bloglines is that Bloglines is also a RSS directory and has indexed “tens of millions of live internet content feeds, including articles, blogs, images and audio.”
One of my favorite Bloglines features is email aliasing. Bloglines provides me with free email addresses for subscribing to email newsletters. No more handing out my real email address. No more spam. When I no longer wish to receive a newsletter, I delete the feed. No unsubscribe hassles. No worries. Bloglines’ email aliasing is reason alone for using this FREE service.
I also use Bloglines for monitoring the status of the RSS feeds here at the Land of Opportunity and also the new small business RSS feeds on the Arkansas SBDC site. Bloglines marks problem feeds with a red exclamation mark. In seconds, I know the status of all two dozen of my feeds on both sites.