"A cup of coffee and a morning paper" are two indispensable items in the routines of many people. Reading the news, catching up on sports scores, and getting a laugh from the comics section can start a day with ease. What is not easy or routine is getting up, leaving to get a paper, bringing it back and then starting your day. It is so normal to expect the newspaper to be delivered to you. Why should we expect our favorite sites from the internet to be more difficult to keep up? Answer. We shouldn't. Enter the aggregator. Instead of visiting your top 15 favorite sites, have your sites send their newest information straight to you, or at least to your aggregator.

Aggregators (where the RSS feed you select lives and reads) and RSS, found with this button external image RSS%20FEED%20Icon.jpg, are simple to use, once you understand what they are and why you would want one. If you spend much time visiting the same set of web sites regularly to check for new information, then an aggregator is for you.

Check out these tutorials to get a better grasp of how to use an aggregator and RSS (rich site syndication, or really simple syndication)
Using Blog Lines

List of Aggregators (RSS readers)



Portals
Another option for organizing the information overflow is through a portal. These are online pages you can personalize and set as your start page in your browser also known as "my page". These pages are customizable so you can include many RSS feeds. Think of it as the "front page" of your personalized internet newspaper. You get to pick what shows where. If you are just getting started with RSS, this is a good way to learn about how it works in an environment that is user friendly. Portal providers include Yahoo, Google, and MSN. Google's iGoogle, Yahoo's MyYahoo, and MSN's Custom Content require an account with their respective services, but allow you to personalize your page with drag-and-drop sections. It does have some limitations, so the advanced RSS user may not prefer this method of keeping track of their feeds.
iGoogle.jpg

MyYahoo.jpg
MSN.jpg




*RSS icon from http://www.mckinneytexas.org/Associations/144/data/images/home/1056/RSS%20FEED%20Icon.jpg