Social media privacy getting you down? Would you like to be notified automatically when your favorite websites are updated? RSS is the tool for you!

What is RSS?

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is a method for website sites to publish updates. An RSS reader can subscribe to RSS feeds, giving the user a list of new posts. RSS is an open format, supported by a majority of the websites today.

When you subscribe to an RSS feed, you get every article. It is up to you to decide whether the article’s content is important to you, not some computer algorithm.

To subscribe to RSS feeds, you will use an RSS reader (sometimes called an RSS aggregator). The reader presents the feeds to you in the order you like. I prefer to view headlines, oldest first, but you may prefer another order. The best feature of the RSS reader is that it will only show you articles that you haven’t seen, so you can immediately catch up with the latest news.

How is it used?

I use an RSS reader multiple times per day. It’s my preferred way to keep up on friends’ websites, educational sites, and tech news sites. I have several hundred sites in my reader, an plow through several hundred new posts a day. My workflow is to first scan through the list of unread articles, marking read the posts that aren’t interesting to me. I can then go through the remaining posts reading the articles.

Your RSS feed is similar to the Facebook newsfeed or Twitter feed, but your RSS feed is under your complete control, and you can see articles posted on any site that offers an RSS feed, which is basically all of them.

How to get started

Now that I’ve hopefully piqued your interest, here’s a quick way to get started. For a free service you can’t beat Feedly. Once you sign in, the free usage level allows you to subscribe to 100 feeds. And don’t worry about which service you pick, your subscriptions can easily be exported and imported into any RSS reader.

I’m going to cover subscribing and reading in a future article, so stay tuned and subscribe to this site to get updates when they are posted!