A useful RSS Reader
I have always found the concept of RSS very compelling but not entirely useful. As a tool RSS or Really Simple Syndication makes a lot of sense and is an easy way to share text and information. This blog has an RSS feed you can subscribe to. That is the crux of my issue with RSS. I find a site that is useful and interesting and they offer an RSS feed but what do I do with it. All of my daily programs provide the ability to add an RSS feed – Outlook, Safari, Apple Mail, Chrome. I can put RSS on my dashboard, widgets on my desktop, the possibilities are endless but none have been useful in my daily digital workflow.
Today I cracked this nut with a real breakthrough that does add value to my digital life.. The gem I discovered – although certainly not new – is NewsFire. There are many programs that aggregate RSS feeds but I think many are clunky, overkill, and turn what should be easy into a lot of work. NewsFire seems different in that is is simple the way RSS is intended. I easily added my favorite news sites to the feeds and was done. Today I skimmed the WSJ feeds, then quickly moved the Slashdot, HBR and so forth. I usually skim Slashdot once or twice a week but today I accomplished the same task in under two minutes.
With so much news available it is hard to shuffle the articles of interest from the clutter. NewsFire provides a simple “next” button that allowed me to quickly skim the articles and drill into the articles I found interesting and quickly move on from those that I did not. The chime notification and bouncing alerts are a bit annoying although easily turned off. NewsFire is a great RSS reader that hits the mark and is a great program.