Talk of RSS is slowly making its way to the foreground, which is cause for celebration. Those just now being acquainted with RSS, feeds and feed readers are in for a wild ride, because RSS isn’t what it used to be.
Today’s RSS feed readers have long since abandoned their humble roots. Rather than only see text posts from news sites and blogs, RSS feed readers can get you subscribed to anything – searches on job sites, store catalogs, newsletters, podcasts, Twitter feeds, and even YouTube channels.
What is RSS feed and how can it make your life easier?
RSS is fondly remembered and sorely missed among its core demographic, who adopted it during the early 2000s and never let go, even though RSS seemingly vanished from the collective mind. RSS used to be the thing to tie the disparate pieces of the Internet together long before social media appeared on the horizon.
Users could follow multiple websites simultaneously and receive new posts without having to go to their homepages. It’s a convenient way to do your reading only, especially if you’re quite active and involved.
This whole process is called Real Simple Syndication, which was then shortened to RSS.
7 main benefits of using RSS feed reader
RSS feed readers benefit the end consumer most and that’s what we’re focusing on with this list. However, we want to highlight that RSS and feed readers are quite beneficial on the publisher’s side of things as well as in higher managerial rungs of an organization.
RSS feed readers are just that versatile as tools in the workplace. So what can you do?
1 – Get Only The Content You Want
Curation and control rest in your hands entirely. RSS does not push forward anything in front of you that is not wanted. You choose what sites, blogs, and social media accounts are delivered to your mast RSS feed and no one else.
RSS feed readers make this easy to do whether it would be through a search for a specific domain in its database, a broader more in-depth search on specific articles (Inoreader does exactly that), or through the addition of an RSS extension on your browser.
Does a certain site only seldom publish articles of interest? Good thing current RSS feed readers have their own filtration systems in place.
2 – Get Content When You Want It
Sometimes RSS feeds update faster than the websites themselves. You might spend unnecessary time refreshing sites without much success. Your RSS updates within minutes of new articles being published, so a quick glance is all it takes.
On Inoreader, you can set up notifications for important articles that meet certain criteria through the Rules feature. This way you truly never miss a thing on the Internet – a truly useful tool when working on a research project or a new story.
3 – Declutter Your Inbox
Can we stop it with the newsletters already? Once revolutionary, now they’re cumbersome and a synonym for spam, because some sites are too liberal with their posting frequency. It takes no more than three subscriptions to overwhelm your inbox, slowing down your work without actually getting you to read any of the newsletters themselves.
I’ve yet to see anyone succeed in keeping an orderly inbox and read all their newsletters. RSS is what you need. Whether you’re using a reader like Inoreader, which can directly subscribe to any newsletter or use services such as Kill the Newsletter, you clean out your inbox for only the most important emails.
4 – Save Your Time
RSS carries the spirit of automation. Content comes to you rather than the other way around. Let’s see what tasks this eliminates:
Going onto each homepage individually. Your dashboard has all your subscriptions lined up and ready for you to check with a single click.
Opening tabs. You can read articles as they’re published inside the reader. Go to the actual site only when you need to. You can also share the article from within most RSS readers.
Refreshing sites. RSS feed readers update at regular intervals so any new entries naturally pop up in your dashboard.
5 – Everything You Need At One Place
This one is self-explanatory. All your subscriptions and sources are collected in a single dashboard, which you control. That’s one tab opened on your browser or a single application on your mobile device.
RSS feed readers compact your reading and as a result declutter your overall digital space, so you can focus on far fewer things competing for your attention. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you see a complete chronological timeline across all publications.
6 – Increase Your Productivity
This point is only a natural result from the accumulation of all above. Perfect organization and an improved workflow lend themselves perfectly for office productivity. It’s funny how easy work becomes when one is free from unnecessary tasks and is able to sharpen their focus on what’s truly important in the day-to-day.
RSS feed readers also extend their list of features into further automation and integration with other apps. The current generation of readers can link to almost any application through platforms such as Zapier and IFTTT. Inoreader itself supports regular expressions for additional control.
7 – Discover Only The Best Content
As per everything else in life, it’s important to know the information you receive online meets at least a few standards. Does an article present itself through clickbait only to ultimately disappoint? Does the author willfully misrepresent a piece of news? Is the data false?
Where you have humans to curate the articles and sources that reach you – as is the case on social media – there’s no guarantee for quality in any meaningful way. You can fall prey to algorithms and less reputable sites, who manage to strike the right tone, but otherwise are not known for their quality or unbiased nature.
You select what goes in your RSS reader, so such risks are removed.