RSS Everywhere

Anyone that follows this blog knows that RSS isn’t all about headlines and blogs. In a couple of posts (Taking RSS Beyond Headlines Part 1 and Part 2), I outlined all sorts of cool things you can do with RSS.It’s a deceptively powerful technology. One of the great things about RSS is that the information comes to us (sort of). We have to do less work to find out if our favorite information sources have something new to offer.

In this article, I will outline the various ways we can be tapped on the shoulder when something new comes in via RSS.

  • PDA’s. A natural use of RSS is to sync up your sources and go. PDA’s are a great way to catch up on your feeds. Here are some RSS feed readers for PDA’s:
    • Windows PocketPC. There are a host of applications for reading RSS on Pocket PC’s:
    • Sunrise XP. My person favorite for reading RSS is an application called Sunrise XP. It’s far less user friendly than others but very powerful. It’s a Windows desktop application that syncs with Plucker-compatible readers for both Pocket PC and Palm OS. It’s main selling point: it not only grabs feeds but the links on the web as well and saves them offline. That’s great for reading feeds and articles when not connected to the Internet (which is often).
  • Mobile Phones. For phones and messaging devices with some horsepower, there are a few ways to go: 
    • Blackberry. Just in case you’re not staring into your Blackberry enough these days, there’s FreeNews for Blackberries and Nokia phones. Or maybe you can convince your IT guy to push specific feeds to your device.
    • Palm Treo. QuickNews is a feed reader specifically designed for Treos.
    • Strip Down Code For Mobile Reading. Phonifier strips out unnecessary markup for portable device reading. Skweezer is a similar service.
    • J2ME Devices. For the lucky few with J2ME devices, the fine folks at FeedBurner have a Mobile Feed Reader for you.
  • Sony Playstation Portable. The PSP, as of firmware 2.6, supports RSS feed reading. Engadget has a more homegrown tutorial for getting feeds on your device.
  • Email. Getting feeds via email sort of defeats the whole purpose of RSS, but to each his own. RSSFWD will send feeds to your Inbox (because, you know, there isn’t enough clutter there already).
  • SMS. You can pretend you’ve got a lot of friends by wiring RSS feeds to your mobile phone. Get SMS alerts all day long with FeedBeepNextBlast provides a similar service. It looks like both charge money.
  • Instant Messaging. Both MSN & Yahoo offer alerts services that allow you to receive feed alerts via both SMS and through their instant messaging programs.
  • Apple iPod. Look like a hipster while staying informed. Engadget comes through again with an RSS to iPod tutorial.
  • PDF. If you’re all about touching and feeling your information on paper, RSS2PDF will take care of converting any feed to an Adobe PDF download.
  • Wristwatch(?). Yes. If you’re really looking to impress the ladies. There are accessories out there that will allow you to read RSS on your wrist. Very sexy.

There are two other services that should be distinguished as above and beyond the usual out there. One is Bloglines’ Moblie. It’s a dead simple version of the popular web-based feed reader. It lays out very nicely on a wide range of devices. Simple = nice.

Another service already mentioned but worth mentioning again is Yahoo Alerts. This service allows you to tie together any feed with an instant message, email or SMS – effectively rendering a good number of the services already mentioned obsolete. It’s nice interface also puts it ahead of MSN in my opinion.

So there you have it folks. now get out there and start tracking those feeds everywhere.

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