Thursday, March 02, 2006


Newsfeed Basics - 2 Reading Individual Newsfeeds

The previous article described newsfeeds, how to recognize when a website enables its content updates to be read via newsfeeds, and how to copy the Internet address for the newsfeed location. These newsfeeds can then be read via certain websites, via Firefox software, or via special newsfeed "aggregator" software.

Read newsfeeds via websites

Many web services are available for reading newsfeeds. Typically these websites require registration, then enable readers to subscribe to the newsfeeds of their choice. Readers then return to these websites periodically to read the newsfeeds.

Bloglines and Google Reader provide web-based personal news aggregators that can be used in place of a desktop client. Subscribe by pasting the Internet address for the newsfeed into your account at Bloglines or Google Reader. Then as you are reading the newsfeeds, these services do a nice job of marking articles that have been read vs. new content that is unread.

Read newsfeeds via Live Bookmarks in Firefox

Firefox web browser software enables newsfeeds to be read via Live Bookmarks. When viewed in Firefox many websites that provide newsfeeds will display a square orange graphic at the right end of the address box (firefox rss logo). Click on the orange graphic to subscribe to the newsfeed. A second method to make a Live Bookmark is to click on Bookmarks menu - Manage Bookmarks. Then in the Bookmarks Manager window click on File menu - New Live Bookmark and paste in the address for the desired newsfeed. Then the newsfeed articles available will display whenever you connect to the Internet and inspect your bookmark list in Firefox.

Reading Newsfeeds via Newsfeed Reader Software

AmphetaDesk is a cross-platform software for reading newsfeeds. AmphetaDesk can be downloaded for free and installed on your computer.

FeedReader is another software (PC only) that can be used for reading newsfeeds. FeedReader can also be downloaded for free and installed on your computer. Click on the Add New Feed button in FeedReader and paste the addresses for the newsfeeds to which you want to subscribe. Connect to the Internet and click on the Update button in FeedReader. Then you can read the news from all of your selected newsfeeds in one convenient place.

Sage is a newsfeed reader extension for Firefox web browser. The free download installs easily and rapidly. Unlike Live Bookmarks that preserve no record of which articles have been read, Sage does keep a handy record of which newsfeed articles have already been read. An ordinary bookmark made to a newsfeed address should be stored in the Sage Feeds folder under the bookmarks menu. These bookmarks enable the newsfeeds to be read via Sage/Firefox.

The next article in this series will describe "aggregators" that collect multiple newsfeeds together in one place for reading.

Previous/future posts in this series: Tips for Bloggers.

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