Why you need an RSS reader

If you’re a “regular” in the blogosphere and you’re not using an RSS reader, you really need to start. An RSS reader is like email; if you’ve never used email it seems like nothing more than a complicated way to send a letter. But once you give it a try you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

The short story of RSS is that it allows you to subscribe to different “feeds,” which are typically blogs or news sites, and every so often your RSS reader checks the feeds for new items.

Before RSS I had a huge list of IE Favorites that I would click through every morning. Now I sit back and let SharpReader gently notify me every six hours if something new has been posted to any of the blogs I monitor. Even if you’re not an everyday reader, it’s still an excellent way to monitor the happenings in your favorite blogs.

If you’re interested, here are a few RSS readers to check out:

FeedReader and SharpReader are two of the most popular and are easy to install and use. I chose SharpReader because it’s written in C#, is extremely configurable, and has excellent OPML support (OPML is a standard way to import and export your subscription list).

Pluck is also popular, and offers both an IE plug-in and a web-based version.

Mozilla’s Extension Room has several Firefox RSS plug-ins in their “News” section.

If you still aren’t convinced, sign up to receive an email when I post something new (located in the sidebar at right).

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