Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Internet News Readers

I read a lot of news on the internet. I also follow a few comics and read programming articles. I keep up with the TED.com videos. I have a few friends with blogs that I read. All in all there are 50 sites I want to keep track of and I am always adding more.

How do I do it? Sure I could bookmark them all and check them on a regular basis but 50+ sites would take forever! Luckily there is an easier way, feeds.

There are two standards for feeds, Atom and RSS. There are a few differences but for the most part, they function the same. They are an XML file that lists the (articles, comics, videos, blog posts) on a given web site. Now using a reader, you can subscribe to as many of these feeds as you want and have one place to check all you favorite websites for updates.

There are many free news readers available. Personally I use Google Reader. It has a slick, intuitive interface and stores my subscriptions online so I can log in from anywhere and check them. You can also use Outlook, Thunderbird, My Yahoo!, or any other news reader. You can even make live bookmarks in Firefox or add feeds directly to IE7.

Once you've chosen your reader, look for the universal feed icon Subscribe to my blog or subscribe links to add them to your reader. Try it by subscribing to mine! :-)


PS- If you run your own feed, there a a tool called Feed Burner that allows you to count the number of subscribers you have.