Tool #4: RSS



Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary (RSS) (日本語) is like getting an online magazine subscription to a blog or news “feed”. This means whenever a person updates their web site, blog or adds to their page, it is automatically sent to me. I used to go “surfing” on the web, but no longer. It now comes to me. Some people get this information in emails, but I prefer to use a Reader, a special software that organizes all these.

I use Google Reader. It is free, and works well. I have about 40 different sites registered. Whenever they update, it is sent, within seconds, to my reader. So when Andrew Sullivan posts one of his 59 messages a day, I get them all. Ian Blogost posts about 2 messages a week, I get those too. I organize them into topics, like Learning, Language, Technology, and Fun. I click on the star in the corner to save the ones I like. Best of all, I add Tags to ones I save. This is like giving labels to each post, so I can find it different ways. (I will explain more about tags in another Tool.)

RSS is the biggest change to the Internet in the last 5 years. It is the biggest difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. If you don’t know about this difference, you are  Web 1.0 and are 5 years behind.

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