Social Media05.09.12

Do you use an RSS feed? Think again. Do you?


When browsing websites, you often see companies’ social media icons – the “T” for Twitter, the “F” for Facebook, etc. Sometimes, you see an orange icon with wavy lines that look like radio waves. That orange icon is for the site’s Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. RSS is a news aggregating feature which collects continually updated posts from a website and presents them in a straightforward reel, saving time and energy for the user. Instead of visiting the New York Post, Mashable, VentureBeat, Fox News and my local news station, I just sign into my RSS platform and see the latest headlines from all these sources. But RSS is rather old news at this point, so why am I talking about it today?

I just read a statistic that noted only 10 percent of people claim they use RSS while in actuality, close to 50 percent actually do. How is there such a discrepancy? Major media hubs have made it so easy to aggregate news that people no longer have to use these little orange icons to manually add to their feed. Google Reader is probably the most widely used and well-known. One can do a simply search right in Reader and quickly add a feed without even browsing sites to add them individually. It’s instant and integrates with nearly all outlets since it is powered by Google.

Meanwhile, mobile has exploded and there are a variety of apps that maintain RSS quickly and easily. My favorite is Pulse. It’s available on both Droid and iOS and has a silky smooth, organized interface. I can toggle across to see all the headlines for each source or scroll down to view different news outlets. I love that they have pre-loaded feeds based on categories of interest and can sync all the links shared in my Facebook feed too. Plus, Pulse lets me bookmark or share the articles through email or Twitter without even leaving the app. It’s by far my favorite.

Do you have a favorite RSS reader for the web or for mobile? I’d be interested in hearing other great options available!