Don't want to install even a plug-in? Well, you can still play in the RSS sandbox. A host of online services let you set up an account and then juggle your RSS subscriptions, without ever downloading or installing a thing to your PC. An online service is the way to go if you use multiple computers or sometimes need to access your RSS feeds from PC other than your own.
One of the best (and most popular) online RSS aggregators is Bloglines from IAC Search & Media. This free service features an intuitive two-pane interface, with your list of feeds on the left and the latest content from a selected provider in the larger reading pane.
You can search Web articles and blogs, share your favorites with others, and even publish your own blog. Bloglines will show you the most popular feeds (with short descriptions) which makes getting started or finding new feeds a snap. You can also "clip" an article for viewing at a later time.
Bloglines, an RSS feed aggregator, takes the content you want from all over the Internet and collects it in one place and makes it easy for you to stay on top of what you need to know.
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Similarly, the new (and also free) NewsGatorOnline service is a Web-based RSS aggregator. It mimics the company's desktop FeedDemon utility and delivers RSS feeds in a clean, uncluttered user interface that lets you organize feeds however you'd like. It also includes the FeedStation feature found in the company's FeedDemon product for subscribing to podcasts.
If your business depends on gathering information and disseminating it internally, NewsGator Technologies also offers NewsGator Enterprise On-Demand. This Web-based RSS solution, targeted at small- and mid-sized businesses, lets you collect, read, distribute, and organize external content about one or multiple subjects. The product's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model minimizes IT involvement.
RSS on the Go
Not only don't you need desktop software to get RSS feeds anymore, you don't even need a desktop. It just takes a smartphone, BlackBerry, or other RSS-capable device, and you can receive and read RSS feeds wherever you have connectivity.
Bloglines, for example, offers Bloglines mobile, which optimizes your Bloglines content for the (usually) lower data rate and display abilities of a mobile device. And NewsGator offers its NewsGator Go utilities ($29.95; available for BlackBerry, Java-powered mobile phones, and Windows Mobile smartphones) so you can track and manage RSS content on your mobile device of choice. The software intelligently manages feeds based on the connection speed and display characteristics of your device, and it synchronizes with your desktop NewsGator client, so if you read a new entry on your mobile device, it shows as read on your desktop.
With the range of RSS options currently available staying on top of important business information is easier than ever. And if you happen to set up one measly little feed from NYMets.com, no one will blame you. It is their year, after all.
This article was first published on Small Business Computing.