If you are like the average net citizen, you find yourself visiting a standard set of web pages, every day. Maybe you start off your day looking at 3-4 news websites, then move to a few friends blogs to catch the updates they’ve posted, then meander over to Craigslist to check and see if that futon for under 50 dollars has finally been posted. If that’s not time-consuming enough, probably like most people, you’ll repeat this ritual several times a day.
Enter RSS readers. RSS readers are one of the most underused tools, freely available to anyone with the ability to download and install an application onto their Mac. You’re not using a Mac, finally? Well, we’ll talk about that later, but fortunately, there are RSS readers available to those poor souls who are forced (or even shockingly prefer) to use one of the thousands of versions of Windows Vista *shutter*.
The purpose of an RSS reader is to gather all of the news websites, blogs, and Craigslist updates (or any RSS-compliant website updates) that are common to you and place them in a neat, orderly view. All of these websites are constantly updated in your RSS reader and are now in one place, so there’s no need to open endless numbers of browser windows or tabs. Also, one of the best features of an RSS reader is that you don’t have to scour those websites, over and over, trying to discern what’s new from what’s already been read.
There are many free RSS readers to be had. For the Mac, I recommend NetNewsWire. For Windows, I would recommend checking out Google’s RSS reader. I find that I save a lot of valuable time by “subscribing” to websites in my RSS reader, rather than browsing them. Give it a shot. The worse thing that can happen is you have to uninstall the program (I can think of worse things that can happen, but let’s start with that).
- How you could view your websites