RSS aggregator – what are they? What can they do for your site? For your business?
Rich Site Summary or Really Simply Syndication is known for being an information management tool and is quickly becoming the number one choice for users. RSS in short, uses an aggregator or reader to make things easier than ever. Most people who click RSS feeds or the XML button on a page might not completely understand, only those who are program and software enthusiasts will get the gist.
That is why the aggregator was born. This was created to even the playing field and make life easier for everyone. RSS aggregator scans the web for the latest updates on postings what were added by users. When it is found a new post will be published and the RSS feed will be updated containing the modified information. Sometimes it may contain a piece of the article or the entire thing, or a picture.
RSS aggregators have two types. You can choose from the downloadable version or the web-based version. If you decide to download the RSS aggregator there is a regular update and certain changes for its services. With this version you can customize the RSS feeds compared to the online based type. However, it could be for a price. If you would like to save some cash, then the web-based aggregator is for you, after a quick registration process you can start enjoying the service. Although, some aggregators allow you to customize your RSS feeds, it would depend on the “brand” you go with.
What are your Options for RSS Aggregator?
Advertisers are now catching on and are realizing the true potential of the RSS aggregator. Most product and service marketers have already tried it and are continuing to try it. At the moment there are lots of aggregators to choose from. Programmers are constantly finding ways to develop the aggregators and newer versions are born every day.
Examples of Desktop or downloaded aggregators are AmphetaDesk and FeedDemon. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s break it down to take a closer look. AmphetaDesk is free and supports Mac, Windows and Linus. While FreeDemon offers a free trial, contains popular feeds and allows you filter your RSS feeds. FeedDemon also allows you to store your feeds for future use and there is a built in podcast receiver. The drawback of the FeedDemon is it is paid software and only supports internet explorer. But, with AmphetaDesk, you are unable to maximize your screen display and there are only a few options to customize.
There are a few choices for web-based aggregators. Bloglines, NewGator and My Yahoo. Just like downloaded aggregators there are also advantages and disadvantages when choosing these aggregators. Bloglines is supported by all major browsers, easy to register and free, no worries about unwanted advertisements, and it is also supported by 10 different languages. This aggregator also allows you to save your searches and you can adjust the privacy for your personal blogs. Bloglines have its own directory of RSS feeds. There are no known disadvantages for Blogline as of now. NewsGator is also a free aggregator and allows you to filter keywords. You also get the advantage of RSS articles being formatted to email, you will save time by browsing search feeds and you can button-click subscriptions to new feeds. The only downside with this aggregator is that it’s limited to Windows because it is Outlook-based. The last web-based aggregator is My Yahoo. Just like Bloglines and NewsGator this aggregator is also free and user friendly. Your homepage can be customized and it also gives you the advantage of a button-click subscription to RSS feeds. Since this is Yahoo, you also have access to all Yahoo features and services, along with a wide variety of other feeds. Although, you will get some banner advertisements with this My Yahoo, the benefits still outweigh the advertisements.
There is another aggregator that is plugged in to your existing browser. They are called lightweight RSS aggregators. One example of this is Sage aggregator. Just like the online based aggregators it is free and easy to use. It reads Atom and RSS feeds and allows you to discover other feeds. Style sheets can also be customized with this aggregator. But, this lightweight aggregator is only good for only 12 RSS feeds and limited to Mozilla-Firefox browsers.
You can look forward to more built-in aggregators as Microsoft is planning to launch it in their next Windows version. The choice is yours when it comes to RSS aggregators. Always check and read the advantages and disadvantages of each before you decide which one to go with.