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10:05 AM

Getting Started: Several Ways To Use RSS

Try out two or three different readers. Some excel in certain areas--and they all have their quirks.

You can have RSS feeds delivered in several ways:

Using a standalone desktop aggregator. Readers such as FeedDemon, NetNewsWire (for Mac OS X), RssReader, and SharpReader are downloaded to your computer and run independently of other software.

Via an E-mail client. NewsGator Email Edition plugs into Apple Mail, Entourage, Eudora, Outlook Express, and other POP3 E-mail clients and lets you receive RSS feeds right in your E-mail window. The same company's Outlook Edition integrates RSS with Microsoft Outlook. And Mozilla's Thunderbird E-mail client comes with RSS-reading capabilities built in.

Via a Web browser. Sage is an RSS add-on to Firefox, while Pluck adds on to Internet Explorer. Microsoft plans to add RSS capabilities to Internet Explorer 7.0, due this year. Bloglines, NewsGator Online, Pluck Web Edition, and My Yahoo are online services you subscribe to that let you view your RSS feeds in any Web browser.

Via a mobile device, through a service such as Elfinland, FeedBeep, NewsGator Mobile Edition, or Yahoo Mobile.

Many of these RSS readers, including all of the Web-based services listed above, are free; others charge a one-time or monthly fee.

A view of the NetNewsWire Lite RSS client interface from Ranchero Software.
(click image for larger view)

A view of the NetNewsWire Lite RSS client interface from Ranchero Software.
Which method of RSS delivery is the best? It depends on your preferences. E-mail junkies will probably opt for an E-mail plug-in. Those who value simplicity might choose an online service because there's no software to download, install, or update--just point your browser at the service provider's Web site and go. This is also a good option if you hop from computer to computer, because you can sign in to your feeds through any browser anywhere. Serious news hounds might choose a standalone reader, so they can leave the program running even if the browser closes.

Yahoo Mobile and NewsGator Mobile Edition are designed to complement those companies' respective Web-based services, so you can use the Web interface to specify which feeds will be sent to your mobile phone or PDA. NewsGator offers synchronization, so if you're checking multiple devices you'll never read the same headline twice.

My advice is to try out two or three different readers. Some excel in certain areas--and they all have their quirks.

Return to the story:
Order From Chaos Via RSS

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