That’s why we love Apple products, capitalism, and things that glitter.
My inquisitive nature has unearthed a conundrum. It has to do with an app you’ll love (and you may use one like it already), an app everyone needs, but an app that seems to upset the normal balance of the universe. Three words: R.S.S.
Hundreds Of Websites, Delivered Electronically
First, the pitch and then the conundrum. RSS is your friend. There’s no better way to checkup and read a bunch of popular websites than using an RSS reader.
Our sugar daddy overlord, Google, even helps out with Google Reader. It’s a bunch of websites that Google stores as a subscription.
An RSS reader attaches itself to the sites you save in Google Reader, and then delivers the most recent updates right to your Mac’s screen.
Safari on your Mac has a built-in RSS reader. It works but is rather lame. Instead, you’ll thank me for pointing you toward a few lovely RSS readers that are worth your time and money.
Then, the conundrum.
First, Caffeinated. It may be the most elegant Google Reader app. What’s not to like? Low price, auto sync, read web sites without using your browser. All the site’s RSS feeds– headlines, summary, article details– come right to you.
NewsBar decided to Think Different™ and gives you a list of RSS subscription feeds on the Desktop. Click on a feed and the details pop out. Nice, but it’s competing with everything else on my Mac’s Desktop.
Reeder is my favorite reader. It’s similar to Caffeinated and lists RSS subscriptions in the left sidebar. Click on one and the most recent headlines and summary is displayed in the middle column. Click for the details.
Finally, there’s the very popular (and free) retickr. This one is different, too. Not only does it stream RSS subscriptions to this cool looking dynamic ticker on your Mac’s Desktop, but it also brings in Facebook and Twitter feeds, all cobbled together in a melange of banal data.
Why use an RSS reader? You could simply bookmark all the sites you find appealing, then, simple click, click, click, click, scan, scan, scan, though each site to find useful information.
An RSS reader does all the clicking for you. Behind the scenes, automatically, RSS readers download the headlines, summary, and article details so they’re waiting for you to read.
You save a bucket of time each day and don’t have to manage bookmarks. An RSS reader makes it easier to scan website headlines and summaries by the dozens.
Here’s the conundrum.
Why do websites issue RSS feeds? Probably because they all do (almost all sites have an RSS feed). The company line here at Mac360 is that we want everyone to subscribe to our RSS feed.
But why? Isn’t that counterproductive? If you can read the headline and the summary before actually viewing anything on the site, then you’re missing out on all our carefully curated and homogenized advertising.
And that’s what makes the world go round. See the conundrum? RSS is good, but we could be starving because ad makers can’t have a positive attitude about RSS feeds. RSS is good. Except when it’s not. That’s a conundrum.