RSS Blog & News Readers
I have yet to find an RSS news reader that works to my liking. In case you don’t know, news readers are a piece of software or a web site that works sorta like an email program, except for blogs. Every time there is a new post at a blog you’ve subscribed to, you get a notification in your news reader. The RSS part is an acronym that stands for Really Simple Syndication, the technological protocol upon which blogs are based.
Since I track quite a few blogs, I’ve tried many news readers yet I’ve tried in vain to find one that I really like. I’ve tried software based ones like FeedReader, FeedDemon, AmphetaDesk and a disasterous experiment with Onfolio. I’ve tried web-based readers like Bloglines and the Google Reader but nothing has really worked that well.
FeedReader, for example, worked well enough at delivering blog posts as they came in, but I didn’t want another software program that was running all the time and when I’d close it, it was like out-of-sight-out-of-mind and so I’d forget about it. Plus, when it was running, I didn’t like the little pop-up messages that appeared from my systray whenever a new post came in; it’s already annoying enough that AOL’s AIM does that whenever a buddy logs on or off. I don’t need more annoyance in my life.
The problem with web-based readers is that they pretty much defeat the purpose of RSS as a content delivery platform: You still need to remember to go to a web site to check your blogs, even if they are conveniently located in one place. Again, out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
But I think now I’ve found a service that does exactly what I need a blog reader to do: Send me an email when my blogs are updated. That’s what FeedBlitz does. It’s a free service that allows you to subscribe to any content that provides and RSS or XML feed (you know, those little orange buttons you often see on web sites) and it will email you a notification when your subscriptios have been updated.
It’s as easy as copying a feed and submitting it to your FeedBlitz account.
I’ve set up a couple of accounts. I’ve got one for Twins and Vikings stories, so every morning I get an email with a link to and descriptions of all the new posts for the site’s I’ve subscribed to.
It’s awfully slick. So slick, in fact, that I’ve set up a subscribe box for this blog so you can get my posts emailed to you. If I skip a day, you won’t have to bother visiting. Look at the upper right-hand side of this blog and you’ll see the subscribe box directly beneath the Blog Tools heading. Just enter your email address, click Subscribe Me, and FeedBlitz will walk you through the rest.