[Update: Added 2 more resources]
Whether you are an RSS beginner, user, addict, or developer, you will find below a list of the best RSS tools and resources available on the Web for you. I’ll update it whenever I discover a new resource, so keep your eye on it! This post is part of my participation in the RSS Awareness Day – an initiative by Daily Blog Tips to raise awareness about RSS. (Yes, I was supposed to publish this yesterday, but it wasn’t ready yet. My bad)
Don’t know what RSS is? Really Simple Syndication is a way to publish and subscribe to frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts. If you follow a lot of frequently updated sites and you are not using RSS, then you are probably wasting a lot of time.
The following excellent video – from the CommonCraft Show – explains what RSS is, why it is important, and how to start using it:
- RSS – news you choose: CNET Reviews explains why RSS is important and how to read it.
- RSS – Wikipedia: if you want to know even more about RSS.
- What Is RSS? RSS Explained: provides a “one page quick introduction to RSS“.
- Why aren’t you using RSS?: a nice introduction to RSS. This post was featured in Lifehacker and Blogcritics.
Web-Based vs. Desktop-Based
Can’t decide whether to go for a Web-based or desktop-based RSS reader? The following blog posts might be helpful:
- The Web-Based vs. Desktop-Based Newsreader Showdown: Lifehacker compares Google Reader (arguably the most popular web-based newsreader) with the freeware, desktop-based readers from Newsgator.
- Why FeedDemon is Better Than Google Reader and Bloglines: Digital Inspiration discusses 10 features in FeedDemon (my favorite RSS reader) that makes it better than online news readers.
- Why Use a Desktop RSS Reader?: Nick Bradbury (the creator of FeedDemon) makes the case for desktop-based readers.
For People with RSS Addiction/Overload
Can’t stop subscribing to those feeds? Too much of anything can be bad, and this include RSS! If you are an RSS addict (like me), you are probably trying to accomplish an impossible mission. I tried that too, but I finally decided to hit the “Mark all as read” button. The following resources might help us in our struggle:
- AideRSS: an RSS-feed filtering service that uses a proprietary system called PostRank to determine the best posts on each blog.
- Feed Rinse: an advanced web-based tool that lets you filter out syndicated content that you aren’t interested in.
- How to Reduce RSS Stress In Your Online Life: Digital Inspiration offers some tips to beat the RSS stress and manage your RSS subscriptions more effectively.
- Seven Tips for Making the Most of Your RSS Reader: ReadWriteWeb offers seven methods for making the most of RSS.
For Sites with no RSS Feeds
Arrived at a website that has no feeds? There are several ways to deal with this situation:
- Dapper: a free web application that helps users in creating a feed for websites that lack one. Dapper is quite advanced and offers many customization options.
- Feed43: a free online service to convert any webpage to an RSS feed on the fly.
- Feedity: an RSS generator for web pages without syndication.
- FeedYes: a service to create an RSS feed from webpage even if they don’t offer them.
- How to Monitor Websites that don't have RSS Feeds: Make Use Of mentions some ways to get notified about site updates when the site doesn't offer RSS feeds.
- Page2RSS: a service that helps you monitor web sites that do not publish feeds.
Want to develop an RSS-related application? Check the list below for some useful resources:
- Build a customizable RSS feed aggregator in PHP: another article from developerWorks that shows how to use PHP-based server-side functions to develop a customizable RSS feed aggregator.
- RSS DevCenter: O’Reilly Network’s source for RSS developer news and information.
- SimplePie: an RSS parser written in PHP.
- Web Developer Resource Index – RSS: a very comprehensive list of RSS development resources.
Want to use RSS in a new way? There are many innovative tools and services out there:
- FeedBlitz: a popular RSS to e-mail converters that enables publishers to offer RSS by email to their subscribers.
- Feed Informer: a professional service that blends and converts RSS feeds to other formats for publishing.
- FeedJournal: a Web application to generate personalized newspaper-formatted PDFs from RSS feeds.
- FreeMyFeed: a service that allows you to bypass password-protected feeds.
- ReadBurner: a website that aggregates popular Google Reader Shared Items.
- RSS 2 PDF: An online utility that can convert RSS feeds into PDF files.
- RSS2Image: a service that takes an RSS feed and converts it to an image that can be displayed anywhere on the Web.
- RSSFWD: a service to deliver updates from RSS feeds straight to your email.
- RSS Mix: a web service that mixes multiple RSS feeds together into one new feed.
- SendMeRSS: a free service that lets you read your RSS feeds in your inbox. [Update: NBC has shut down SendMeRSS]
Can’t write a list about RSS resources without mentioning these:
- 14 "OTHER" Ways to Use RSS Feeds: Make Use Of discusses several other ways you can make use of RSS feeds.
- 30 RSS Resources For the Feed-Addicted Blogger: Webmaster-Source lists links for bloggers who are addicted to RSS and want their readers to be as well.
- The Ultimate RSS Toolbox – 120+ RSS Resources: Mashable made a comprehensive list of all the RSS readers, tools, browser plugins, tips, hacks and directories available on the web.
If you got any other useful RSS tools and resources, please mention them in the comments.
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