On a scale of sipping pina coladas on the beach to Wall Street on a bad day, most Americans would probably place themselves on the higher end in terms of stress and busyness. We spend our days trying to catch up, always looking for life hacks and ways to make things simpler. Though we already have such handy helpers as email, smartphones, and tablets we continue the quest for ways to power up to greater efficiency. Ladies and gentlemen, that next step is available, and its been hiding from you in plain sight since 1995. Its RSS, and even its name clues you in to how awesome it is. Really Simple Syndication. Anything that has “really simple” in the title has to be good.
The kicker is that you’ve seen it before. Picture all those little square icons on virtually every blog and news site you’ve ever seen. You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest, and then a little mystery. The square is orange and there’s a little white wi fi shaped symbol lying on its side. That’s the RSS logo, and its just lying there waiting to make your life easier.
So what can it do? Brace yourselves, because this will change your lives. Let’s say that like most online readers, you visit a number sites on a fairly regular basis. Maybe you’re a blog reader. Maybe you get your kicks from reading news sites. Could be anything. Chances are that you have a pretty solid list of sites you check frequently, whether its daily, weekly, or even monthly just to see what’s going on. Not anymore. Basically, RSS is your little worker bee, and once you tell it which sites you want updates about, it’s going to check them out for you, storing all the new articles and information it finds and presenting it in one easy to read format in one location, like a newspaper that only tells you about things you’ll think are interesting.
Getting that little worker bee up and running isn’t even that difficult. Plus he works for free, so that’s a bonus. To start with, you’re going to need an RSS reader application. Just type RSS reader into a search engine and you’ll find a bunch. Now, take a moment and throw a party before you open up all those sites you like to check out in new tabs for the last time, because this is going to give you time for that kind of thing. Click on the RSS logo on each one, copy the URL it brings you to, and paste it into the subscribe box on your RSS reader. I kid you not, that is it. Lather, rinse, and repeat on each site. That little RSS logo just saved you more time than you will ever know what to do with.
Next time you want to see what’s new on the internet, just head over to your RSS feed list to see all the information you could have spent hours hunting for, and then spend a leisurely afternoon scrolling through before you head off to yoga or painting class or whatever it is that you’re doing with all that extra time you just found. But don’t forget to send a little mental “thank you” to that RSS logo and the good people of 1995 who made it all possible.