Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Primer on Setting Up an RSS Reader for Blogs - by Mark Sohmer

My friend, Mark Sohmer, is a regular reader (and commentor) of The White Rhino Report. When he informed me that he learns instantly when I have posted something new, I asked him if he would be willing to share with other readers how he set that up. I am aware that many readers are already using RSS, but others are still learning about how this system works. I offer Mark's clear and concise step-by-step guide:

Dear White Rhino Report readers,

Al asked me to explain how I read my favorite blogs, as this might
interest and benefit you.

It used to be that I had a handful of blogs that I liked to read, so every
once in a while, when I thought of it, I would use my web browser to go to
the page and see if there was anything new. As blogs became more popular
and there were more and more of them I was interested in, this became a
time-consuming process. Also, I found that I wouldn't often visit sites
that weren't updated frequently, and then I'd miss it when they were

A newsreader application is perfect for this!

Most blogs today are RSS or ATOM compliant. RSS and ATOM are two data
formats that do the same thing: they allow a blog to be read by a

Some web browsers, like Mozilla Firefox, can read or "subscribe" to
RSS/ATOM feeds directly, but Firefox's abilities are not very advanced.
Sure, it can show you the latest posts from your "subscribed" blogs, but
it doesn't remember which posts you've already read, or alert you when
there are new posts.

So I've been running "FeedDemon" by "NewsGator Technologies, Inc" and have been very satisfied.

You can download yourself at:

This is a free program that allows you to input the blogs you care about,
and it keeps track of the posts you've read and those ones you haven't.
The new posts are bolded for you, and it even tells you how many new posts
there are. If you keep it running (even minimized), it'll prompt you when
new posts are available at your favorite sites. Additionally, if a blog is
password-protected, it will remember the password for you so you don't
have to type it in. And if you sign up for a free newsgator account, then
you can keep your FeedDemon applications synchronized on multiple
computers. Very handy for those who use this application at home and at
the office.

If you monitor even a handful of blogs, then I think you'll find this tool
extremely handy.

I found this program by doing a google search for "free rss reader." I'm
not connected to the company in any way, nor do I profit from its success.
I pass it on merely as a help to White Rhino Report readers. There are
many more newsreader applications out there. If you find another one that
you like better, by all means use that one. So far I've been very happy
with FeedDemon.

Just remember the most important thing: regardless of which newsreader
program you end up using, make sure you subscribe to:

I hope this is helpful!

Mark Sohmer


Thank you, Mark!


1 comment:

Joseph Bamber said...

Great tips, Mark. If you have a Google (gmail) account, you can also use Google reader, or place RSS feeds on your google homepage (