23 Aug 2006

how to save time with rss

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Up until about two months ago, I always used the RSS reader built into my Mac’s Safari browser. But when I started giving presentations about blogging and sometimes had to use other people’s laptops, it became obvious that I needed to start using a web based feed reader. I don’t pretend to have figured out everything there is to know about RSS, but I do know that using it has greatly increased the amount of web based information, articles and blog posts I’m able to process in a typical day.

RssYou may have noticed the button for RSS appearing on web pages, but might not have realised that this little orange button may just hold the answer to a pressing problem: too much news and information available online to keep up to date with it all. You don’t need to know much about RSS to use it other than that it takes a website and turns it into a feed that you can subscribe to.

To make use of RSS, you’ll first need to subscribe to a service like bloglines which is a free web based feed reader. Once you’ve signed up, you click the "add feed" button and paste in the URL of the page you’d like to subscribe to.

From then on, every time you log into bloglines, it will show you any new content that’s been posted since you last visited. This gives you the ability to stay current with content on dozens of websites by just taking a quick glance at bloglines a few times a day. Here’s what the interface looks like once you’ve subscribed to a few feeds:


For those who are interested, you can see what feeds I subscribe to by visiting my public page on bloglines.

Once you’ve looked at various web based feed readers (I haven’t fully explored the different options myself and welcome input in the comments of this post – here’s the google results and a more extensive listing), you can subscribe to the feed for cybersoc.com by either dropping the URL into your chosen feed reader or by clicking the appropriate badge on the right side of this page.

Cybersoc by Robin Hamman
With over 13 years of professional experience in the digital and social media industry, and a client portfolio that includes some of the World's most recognisable brands and organisations, I've built a reputation internationally as a leading practitioner in the industry.


  • By joanna / 24 Aug 2006 /

    I find Bloglines invaluable in processing the ever-growing amount of online content I read. The latest trick I’ve discovered is the Clippings feature which lets you save blog posts in a folder to come back to later. This is really handy if, like me, you browse your feeds throughout the day and want to save something to read more closely at a later time. I also use it to save interesting posts that I might like to reference on one of my own blogs at some point.

  • By RobinH / 24 Aug 2006 /

    Hi Joanna. Thanks for the comment. I’ve been using del.icio.us like you use the clipping feature on bloglines. I’ve also been thinking about experimenting with Rojo after reading something on the Telegraph’s technology blog about how it marries the ability to save a page with the ability to tag that page, thus keeping a copy and making it findable.
    My del.icio.us links are at http://del.icio.us/Cybersoc and I’ve made them publicly available. Are you using del.icio.us, furl, or one of the other social bookmarking services? I’d be keen to hear your experiences with them since I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the functionality they offer.

  • By joanna / 24 Aug 2006 /

    I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake with del.icio.us and the other similar tools that are available, and I should definitely explore them a lot more than I have done. I think it’s a good idea to know about all the tools that are available so that you can cherry-pick the ones that best suit you. For me, Bloglines does an excellent job of organising my feeds and I’ve also been using Flickr a lot, mainly to organise the photos for one of my blogs and to find content for it too. I’ll definitely find time to explore del.iciou.us and the like soon and will let you know how I get on.

  • By Claudia Schulte / 29 Dec 2011 /

    Claudia Schulte

    Major thankies for the blog.Really thank you! Awesome.

About Robin Hamman

I've been helping some of the World's most widely recognised brands and organisations devise and implement strategic digital and social media programmes since 1999.

I'm currently the EMEA Digital Network Lead at Fleishman Hillard. I've previously held a variety of roles including Managing Director of Dachis Group Europe, Director of Digital at Edelman, Head of Social Media at Headshift, Acting Editor of the BBC Blogs and Executive Producer at ITV.

In addition to my day job, I help my wife run an online retail business selling wool blankets - if you're feeling chilly, check out JustSheep.co.uk

I hold a BA in Education, MA in Sociology, MPhil in Communication Studies and a PgDip in Law. I've also been a Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford University Law School and a Visiting Fellow of Journalism at City University, London.

Why cybersoc.com? In 1995, I tried to register, for the purposes of researching "ordinary users", the username Cybersociologist on AOL. They truncated my name and I stuck with it....

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