Emma’s Tech Tip – Bloglines

So Emma and I were talking and she wanted to know what RSS aggregator viewers of her site are using. What is an RSS aggregator you ask? RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a term that describes a somewhat new Internet technology that allows supporting web sites to post RSS feeds. What does that mean? Well, typically when you view a website you type the URL (http://www.SomethingAtSomething.com) and then you examine the page for what has changed since your last visit. If you are like me, you probably check out several different sites a day to see if there is an update. Determining what has changed requires you to examine the page in detail and make a decision based on memory. Not a very efficient or optimized approach to web surfing.

Bloglines is a web-based service that allows you to subscribe to sites that support RSS feeds (pretty much any site of any worth these days). Subscribing to a site in this manner allows you to browse the web in a more efficient manner. Instead of “pulling” content as you do when you browse to a site now, an RSS feed “pushes” content to you. That means that you receive updates to a subscribed website with only the stories, articles, and content that has changed since the last time you looked. Trust me, it’s a real time saver and Emma swears by it. In fact, you can even subscribe to Emma’s Webpage (Links at Bottom Right) which will allow you to receive updates when I update it, relieving you of the task of checking back daily. Now that’s value.

There are plenty of RSS readers out there, but what makes Bloglines the aggregator of choice is its web-based service implementation. Essentially it is a website that you can access from anywhere. So say you check out some sites at work on your work computer, and then when you come home you want to see what has changed on those same sites from your home computer, a client based solution would force you to manage two independent lists. Being web-based, your RSS feeds are managed in one place eliminating the need for you to acknowledge what you have read twice.

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