There is no shortage of news and information online. It’s everywhere, on nearly every site.
There is a shortage of time to gather news, sort through it, discard what’s crappy, read the rest. Here’s how to do it best.
In a word, RSS is the only way to save time, sort through news, become more efficient, and keep up.
Mac360 was one of the first Mac oriented web sites to push RSS feeds. Tera Jean Patricks extolled the virtures of RSS time and again.
For the most part, RSS is a combination of a headline and a summary of an article from a web site.
Sites that have RSS feeds, such as Mac360, have a link somewhere on the home page. Safari and other browsers subscribe to the links.
Through your browser or RSS feed reader you can gather headlines and summaries like you gather bookmarks.
In one click, Safari can display the latest information without a corresponding click to view the web site to try to find an interesting article.
While that’s a simple process to describe, there’s plenty of work going on behind the scenes.
Safari’s implementation of RSS feeds is basic, almost simplistic.
Ditto for Firefox and Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 7.
If we live in a flood of information then finding a way to stem the flood to a more manageable stream is important.
Here’s what I do to handle the flood of online information. Yes, RSS is at the top of the list, but not Safari, Firefox, or any other browser.
For awhile I collected RSS readers, then finally settled on two that I truly like, both of which I use regularly, one of which I prefer.
RSS readers are Mac utility applications that basically bookmark the RSS feeds for various web sites, and they’re easy to use.
In most cases, point your browser to a web site that you want to gather information, and look for an RSS link on the page.
Drag the site’s URL (or the link of the RSS feed) to your RSS reader and you’re done.
Each RSS reader will come with bells and whistles and features and even a price tag.
There are a couple of dozen RSS readers available for the Mac (so it seems), though only a few are worthy of review.
Here’s what I like and why. If you have a favorite that’s not listed, add it to Mac360 via the comments section below.
At the top of my list is David Watanabe’s NewsFire. The look and feel is pure Mac, and the features list extensive.
At the bottom of my list is the free NetNewsWire Lite. It’s at the bottom because it’s free, not because of a lack of features.
In between are others I’ve tried and they’re worthy of your consideration.
NewsFan has a good feel to it and a price tag that speaks highly of itself.
On the free side of the fence is RSS Owl which is highly rate, loaded with features, though written in Java. It’s cross platform and runs well on Windows and Linux, too.
I cannot imagine using a Mac for online news gathering these days without using an RSS reader.
What do you use to handle your flood of online information, news, and entertainment? Is it Safari’s built in RSS reader? Or, did you choose another solution that fits your needs better?