You have probably heard about RSS Readers (also called RSS Aggregators) in the context of weblogs (or blogs). Yes, RSS Readers are a great way to read various blogs to which you subscribe. But what you might not know is that a lot of non-blog sites are publishing content (“feeds”) in RSS (an XML-based file format, stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and/or “Rich Site Summary”). So I use an RSS Reader for 1) reading blogs and 2) reading the news.
According to Aaron Swartz (http://blogspace.com/rss/readers), the best RSS readers are:
- Mac OS X: NetNewsWire (http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/)
- Windows: SharpReader (http://www.sharpreader.net/)
- Linux: Straw (http://www.nongnu.org/straw/)
- Web: Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/)
The following are some non-blog RSS feeds:
- The New York Times (http://partners.userland.com/nytRss/)
- The Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/tools/rss/)
- Dilbert (http://dwlt.net/tapestry/)
- Others (http://www.rssreader.com/rssfeeds.htm)
A competing XML format is called Atom (http://www.atomenabled.org/), which will likely win the battle for mindshare simply because “Atom” is a cooler name than “RSS.” My weblog includes some of the RSS feeds to which I subscribe (under my “Blogroll”). The orange XML icon is a link to the RSS feed; the text next to the icon is a link to the corresponding HTML page. I believe that we are not far off from having some news sources that are delivered in RSS only — and not in HTML. The world of RSS is an entirely new channel of communication on the Internet, as important as — if not more important than — email and the Web, and more relevant than Usenet. And for now it’s spam-free.
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Reuters launches RSS feeds.
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