This is a guest post from Michael Nadler, manager of data analysis at Cision.
It seems every site these days has an RSS feed available for its readers, making it easier than ever for journalists, bloggers and influencers to syndicate their content across the Web. Not only does this allow them to drive more traffic to their site and reach a wider audience, but it also allows users to easily choose the news they want to read and the news they don’t, all in one place.
We are witnessing the end of news as an event. No longer do most news consumers pick up a newspaper every morning or tune in to the evening news, but rather they customize their news, curate it and bend it to their needs. An RSS reader is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this for communicators who are on the go.
By the very definition of what RSS is – Really Simple Syndication – it has truly become easy to curate an endless amount of content with a simple click of your mouse. Whether you are a loyal Google Reader user – much like myself – or prefer any of the other great tools out there, here are some simple tips for getting the most out of your RSS experience.
1. Make time to catch up on your feed. Don’t let your feeds get the best of you. Set aside some time every day to catch up on the day’s news. You want to avoid feeling overwhelmed with the amount of unread articles you have waiting for you, and prevent the most interesting and relevant content to get lost in the mix or worse yet, deleted.
2. Methodically organize your feeds. Put similar sources into folders or groups. I separate my technology news from my PR and media news. This way, I can quickly jump from topic to topic as I have time throughout the day to catch up.
3. Do some experimenting. Test out various feeds to find the ones you like best. Though appealing at times, you don’t need to subscribe to every fashion site across the web, so pick and choose the feeds that produce the best content for your interests.
4. Avoid overcrowding. Reevaluate the sources that you REALLY want and stick to those. It’s very appealing to subscribe to every feed out there, but that will only flood your reader with content that you’ll never have time to read through.
5. Utilize sub-section RSS feeds. The New York Times is a great example where you are allowed to subscribe to particular sub-sections of their site, that way if there is a particular columnist or topic you’re interested in reading, you can subscribe to only those articles.
6. Use Yahoo! Pipes, a great tool from Yahoo! that allows you to build and create your own customized RSS feed. If you prefer organizing content into one single feed or grouping sources together, this is a great, interactive tool that allows you to combine multiple feeds into one RSS feed URL.
7. Find a great mobile app. It’s necessary to find yourself a great RSS reader app for accessing your feed on the go. For iOS, I have found Reeder to best fit my needs, though there are many great alternatives out there. For Android, Google Reader is a solid choice. I suggest trying a few free ones out to see which fits your needs best before upgrading to a paid app.
What are some tips and tricks that you use?