Date: March 26, 2013

Author: JT

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

RSS, Recycling, Refreshing, Starting Anew

For many, perhaps I should start with, “What is RSS?” RSS, stands for really simple syndication. It is simply a behind-the-scenes website format enabling updates to Web sites to be easily distributed.

If you are unfamiliar with RSS, you can simply skip to the What is RSS?

My primary RSS reader, Google Reader, is being terminated July 1, 2013. It’s old news by now (internet time, anyway<g>). Rather than drag my feet, I have already started testing alternatives.  One I’m liking at the moment is Feedly.  On iPad, my favorite is flipboard.

jtpedersen_321 Ignite_spring_cleaningPerhaps an even bigger decision has been to use this opportunity to do some Spring cleaning—it is Spring now…regardless the forecast.  Even after prior pruning, I found I still had nearly a 100 feeds, content from a 100 websites.  Even with careful categorizing, tagging, and judicious use of folders, it is simply too much.

So today, I started a serious pruning. I have decided to keep (10) favorites, and allowing myself (5) whose future’s are, well, let’s just say pending.

I found this Spring-cleaning process to be just like doing a purge of stored content in my basement—despite it’s digital nature.  Some of the site feeds have been with me a long time.  Many, are no longer read with any frequency. Yet like that drawing from high school that I only look at each time I do a purge, I do not want to throw it away.

The reality is time is precious and unread feeds, just like newspaper subscriptions not-yet cancelled, are distractions consuming time.

The house is clean. The Spring purge is done.  There’s less clutter.  I feel better.

Clean out your RSS feeds recently?

 

What is RSS?

RSS’ value is that all your favorite websites’ content is collected, automatically, in one place, so you do not have to manually visit individual sites.

Think of RSS as you would a letter document. The same exact content can be published, at the same time, as a MS Word document (.docx); an Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF); Text file (.txt); and web page (.html, among others).

Sample_RSS_Icon

As a consumer, you ‘subscribe’ to an RSS ‘feed’ just as you would to you local newspaper.  Using a RSS reader (many free readers exist, even many browsers have one embedded), you simply subscribe to a site by entering it’s address.  The reader will automatically detect the feed, or, you can enter this RSS feed explicitly (my site’s is http://feeds.feedburner.com/JTPedersen), or by clicking the RSS icon (classic example in orange).

The following image comes from Google Reader (discontinuing July 1, 2013).  It simply shows a list of websites subscribed to—that I would otherwise visit individually, daily, with the current page for the selected site shown to the right.

Google Reader_JT Pedersen_321 Ignite

Image credit(s):
Skyscraper Window Cleaners – Sebastian Danon

3 Responses to “RSS, Recycling, Refreshing, Starting Anew”

  • Andrew Stein March 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Sometimes, a thing, even a thing as big as Google Reader, needs to have a hard stop, and allow the market to recreate it anew. The migration sometimes can be too great to the future vision that everyone knows is out there, but the legacy of people, processes, rules, laws (copyright and privacy) prevent any rational path from emerging.

    Like jumping from Google Reader to Feedly, we have an opportunity to start anew, refresh, learn a new way, and unload the baggage that was the past. Looking at it objectively now, I see Google Reader as crusty, and legacy-anchored. Good move Google.

    Expect Google to either re-acquire the new leader’s technology and solution, or? Anything is possible now.

  • @majeedkamran March 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    RT @jtpedersen: “What is RSS?” http://t.co/g5orngSb4O

  • Alan E. Shelton (@AlanEShelton) March 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for the advice JT! Had no idea: RSS, Recycling, Refreshing, Starting Anew http://t.co/xS6LhsPEBL via @jtpedersen

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