Wednesday, July 1, 2009

10 RSS Feeds You Need

For some, the whole idea of using really simple syndication feeds has yet to catch on. However, these feeds are a great way for you to quickly browse what new information a source has put out since the last time you visited its Web site without actually ever having to visit the site. A quick search will reveal plenty of ways for you to collect the feeds, and some people use feed readers that collect hundreds of RSS feeds. However, to avoid getting to bogged down, I get some news via Twittter, Facebook, e-mail updates, and I use RSS feeds only to check about 10 sources. This way, I diversify the ways I get information in hopes of not missing something that I might not get if I used only RSS feeds.

Now, when you are following only 10 RSS feeds as I am, I have found that the perfect way to do this is to use the "View Feed XML" link that you normally see when you click the RSS button on a Web site. Here, you can get an option to add the feed to Firefox's toolbar, which leaves me with 10 feeds in my Web browser's tool bar that I can quickly and easily drop down to check for new content. In case you are unfamiliar with RSS feeds, basically what I see when I drop down is a listing of the most recent posts on that site in headline format. Then, if I decided I actually want to read one of those stories, I can click the link and open up the actual page. Otherwise, I'm caught up on what that source has to say for now, and I know I haven't missed out on a story that might have interested me.

So if I had to narrow down to only 10 feeds to recommend you start out with in terms of RSS? I would provide the following list:
  1. Relatively Journalizing
  2. Your local newspaper. For me, it's The Roanoke Times.
  3. A friend's blog. This will help you stay updated on their life and keep in touch.
  4. A second friend's blog. You do have another friend, right? If you don't you could follow No Use For a Headline.
  5. Your favorite sports team or conference. I keep updated on the ACC and my Virginia Tech Hokies via ESPN's ACC blog's own RSS feed. Virtually everything on their site has a separate feed you can follow.
  6. If you're in college, recently graduated or just like the perspective of young creativity, I recommend Student Bloggers. Otherwise, your favorite nonprofit, political cause or professional organization is sure to have a feed.
  8. The Quad (NY Times' blog), especially for college sports fans. And who isn't?
  9. 10,000 Words, where journalism and technology meet.
  10. Be flexible here. If you don't follow CNN on Twitter, maybe you want to get their RSS updates. You can even get Facebook updates via RSS. Perhaps your profession has some blogs you want to add here or put in place of the journalism ones I mentioned above. The point is, be diverse in your media intake and don't be afraid to try out something that might sound scary at first such as RSS feeds!

1 comment:

Beamer said...

Thanks for the shoutouts, bud. I'd definitely add Lifehacker to that as well. In addition to keeping you up on the latest in technology and sweet applications, it also has great stuff to make cooking, gardening, office organization, clothes repair... basically everything more efficient and easier.