I wrote this post over the weekend while I should have been out gardening. It was originally for a social media course that I’m taking, but I thought you all might enjoy a quick word on something different for this holiday Monday. Happy Victoria Day!
I love RSS, despite the word on the street that it’s geeky and passé. For those who are more up-to-date on their technology than I am, RSS is a way of gathering new content from the various web sites that you follow into one place to read at your leisure using your reader of choice. The sites that use it will have an orange icon that looks like this: . When you click the orange icon, you’ll be prompted to choose a reader. When you login to your reader, all of the new content on the sites that you follow will be in one place.
Why would I choose this antiquated technology when I can just follow sites on Facebook, Twitter, or by e-mail?
I’m moody. When I open my RSS reader, I’m in the mood to read something. When I login to Facebook, I want to message someone or catch up on what my friends are doing. If I don’t feel like reading a particular article in my news feed at the time, there is no easy way to save it on Facebook. I have to remember to dig it out later, which never happens. For the rare occasion that I’m in the mood to sift through the junk on Twitter, I can star an article for future reference, but it’s just so much easier to have items sorted into feed streams with unread items clearly marked. With RSS, I don’t miss anything. Relevant content is delivered and saved.
I like to be in charge of what I see. With RSS, I choose whatever feed I feel like looking at and start reading. This is not possible on social network news feeds – I’m on the posters’ timetables.
I’m busy. I rarely read articles while sitting at my desktop. That time is for work that requires two monitors or a keyboard. I read on the go. While Facebook and Twitter obviously have mobile apps, many of the web sites that post into the feeds do not (crazy, but true). At least my mobile RSS reader will pull the content from the site and make it mobile-friendly every time.
I’m cheap. Even though I read on the go, I don’t have a data plan on my phone. I cache my content over Wi-Fi when it’s available and read when I feel like it. See points about being moody, in charge, and busy as noted above.
Call me old-fashioned, but I am sticking with RSS. It was announced recently that Google Reader (my reader of choice) is going the way of the floppy disk. Do any of my fellow RSS-lovers have a mobile-syncing, offline-caching replacement lined up?