Despite years of effort, despite nearly 1,000 Mac app reviews, my switched-from-Windows-Mac-loving neighbors still can’t spell R-S-S. That’s RSS, as in RSS reader. The app that cuts down your clicking and gives you more web sites to scan in less time.
Hello? This Is Just So Easy
In our neighborhood, I’m the cul-de-sac queen, the Value Vixen™, and the Mac lady, all rolled into one over stressed person.
All these folks I’ve convinced to switch from Windows PCs to Macs love me. But I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of the cul-de-sac. I don’t get any respect.
People up and down the street love their new Macs, but every time I visit I see them click, and click, and click, and click, just to check on a few news sites.
Hello? Can you say, R-S-S? Forget what it means. It’s what it does. RSS is a web standard for giving people a headline, summary, and link to a web page. Most news and information sites use RSS feeds. Even Safari lets you subscribe to a site’s RSS feed, which brings you updated headlines, summary, and link.
Notice the little gray RSS box in the URL field at the top of Safari? When you click on it, you get a look at the Mac360 RSS feed, which you can subscribe to automatically in your browser. But don’t. There’s a better way.
If you like free, and who doesn’t, there are plenty of free and full featured RSS readers for Mac users. There’s NetNewsWire and Vienna and others. They’re great, but you have to stop what you’re doing to browse through all of your collected subscriptions to different web sites.
Think Different? NewsBar is a Mac RSS reader that brings all those headlines, news summaries, and details right to your Mac’s Desktop in an easy to use sidebar.
Simply move your mouse pointer over one of the RSS feed icons in the sidebar and a pop out window gives you all the details.
Behind the scenes, NewsBar collects subscription details for you. Drag and drop a site’s RSS feed icon into NewsBar and it begins the subscription automatically.
But if you like preferences, you’ll like playing around with NewsBar’s settings. Change the background color and opacity. Add a gradient. Change the font and size to match your screen.
What’s not to like? NewsBar is dirt cheap but comes with more than the basic functionality of the free Vienna.
It handles multiple subscriptions with ease. A single click will open RSS content in a pop up window, but a double click will open the whole web page in Safari.
Read items can be hidden automatically. You can even assign the icon you want for each subscription. NewsBar features OPML import and export capability so if you’re already using a modern RSS reader, you can import the same subscription list.
Search? Did I mention search? Yes, Virginia, there’s search capability. And keyword filtering so you don’t have to browse through everything and waste so much time you miss your anniversary. Again.
I don’t want to sound like a nag (despite what you’ve heard from my neighbors), but RSS is the way to browse the web. No more click, click, click, and more click, hopping from one web site to another. A good RSS reader brings those sites, their headlines, their summaries, and links right to you.