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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

RSS feeds

GH (2)
© 2009 Simon Hucko

Today I'm going to talk about RSS feeds. If you're already familiar with the magic of RSS, you can just scroll down to my list of recommendations below. For those of you new to the RSS world, let me tell you that you've been missing out.

Tired of scrolling through a long list of bookmarks to keep up with your favorite blogs/news/comics/whatever? RSS will set you free. Most sites that are frequently updated will also have an RSS feed associated with them. You can take this feed into a reader, and the reader will ping the feed and display the most recent additions to that feed. In other words, if you have a blog that you follow closely (like mine, for instance?) you don't have to remember to check it daily to keep up with it. Just keep your RSS reader open and it will alert you whenever something new is posted.

The beauty of this is that you can subscribe to as many feeds as you want. Come across a website that you like? Subscribe, and you'll get all the updates sent to you, free of charge. Have an interesting blog that only updates occasionally? The RSS reader will let you know when they finally post new material, so you won't have to keep coming back to check. Even if it's a site that only occasionally posts something you're interested in, you'll be able to ignore everything else and only spend your time on it when something good comes along. Think of it as your Facebook newsfeed for the entire web.

My reader of choice happens to be google reader, but there are many many out there to choose from, and all give you the same basic functionality. I like google because a. I am a google whore, and b. they have their search built in similar to gmail, so it's easy to find what you're looking for. They also have a little javascript widget that you can put in your bookmarks toolbar enabling one-click subscribing to a website.

RSS - it's simple, it's easy, it's free, so give it a try. Here are some of my favorite RSS streams. Copy the links into your reader of choice and check it out:

- [title of blog]
- CNN's top stories
- Craigslist (this is a GREAT way to keep an eye out for bargains without having to wade through everything)
-'s big picture
- Various webcomics (PHD comics, What the Duck?, xkcd)
- I Can Has Cheezburger

I also have a whole bunch of photography blogs in there, and whenever I come across something interesting I add it. I can always take it off my reader if I decide I don't want it.



  1. RSS feeds save my life! Or at least 1 hour of every day.

  2. Me too, rss is awesome. I never thought of putting craigslist in my feed, that's a great tip.

  3. Dude, you'd be semi-proud of me! I made a DIY photo studio tonight. (= proud part.) Only, I had NONE of the right materials, even the cardboard box was too small. (= semi part.) Sooo I think I'm gonna have to make another one... :P

  4. @kristan - awesome! gotta keep an eye out for a bigger box ;)