Surfing the World Wide Web, a weekly article

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Surfing the World Wide Waves (WWW)

An RSS aggregated world

Really Simple Syndigation is one of the best ideas in the world and I love it. Called RSS for short and refered to as an aggregation this is one of the greatest advances to come out within the past few months. I love RSS because it's so easy to use and it's such a time saving tool. What's even better is just how modulable and adaptable it is.

I am interested in several topics, world news (studying a News course), international relations (from working for the ILO, the WHO, ICRC and more), public relations (course I'm studying), technology and it stretches as far as your mind. The reason it's so great is that there are so many websites out there that I may have to visit twenty websites for a bit of news and that's time consuming. In other circumstances I checked e-mailed newsletters but I do not like these because you get all the articles in one go and you saturate with information, reading less than a quarter of what is made availble.

At the moment there are two RSS feeds for this website. The first one is for the "What's new" section of the website, keeping people up to date with what new things I have added to the site and the second is for an online game named Kraland. I hope that through both of these threads I keep people up to date with what I find is either interesting or important to keep up to date with.

I am starting to hate installing things onto the laptop as this slows down the machine. Instead I have decided to use both my.yahoo with their beta feed reader and bloglines which was recently aquired by Ask Jeeves because the manager was so interested in bloglines. Both of these have a slightly different user interface. For a start Bloglines allows you to collate all the feeds into a list in on the left hand site with the content on the right hand side. With this each time you click on a feed the right hand contains all the new articles and if you chose you may have headlines, summaries, or full articles. I have recently moved on to chosing full articles so that I may read these in the comfort of just one browser window rather than opening a new one every article. Yahoo prefers to give you feeds as titles, and according to the title you select which ones you want to read by clicking on them, as hyperlinks. Both interfaces are good although I prefer the bloglines approach.

As rss readers become more popular and as more websites realise how important and how interesting rss feeding becomes to their viewers they will make it more and more prominant. Personally I have been surfing and found that there are certain websites which I know I will follow less closely because they have not yet deemed it necessary for an RSS feed. They are a great tool for PR departments and international organisations. Already the ILO, Google and MSN for example use bloggers who create RSS feeds to form a new brand loyalty so to speak. Take the time to learn how RSS works and you may enjoy it as much as I do.


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