How to Use RSS Feeds to Organize Content

Ever felt overwhelmed trying to stay on top of industry news? Feel like it takes too much time to go from one blog to another and from one news site to the next? Want all of your favorite articles to go to one place?

Google Reader Homepage
Many public relations students use aggregators like Google Reader to follow their news.

Consider using a RSS feed. These tools can help you organize and manage your content quickly and efficiently so that reading your favorite news sites, blogs, and articles is never more than a few clicks away.

What is a RSS feed?

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, although many now dub it “Really Simple Syndication.” It’s a way to deliver regularly changing news content (i.e. a news website or blog) all to one place.

How do I set up a RSS feed?

There are many different web services that allow you to set up your own RSS feeds. (There are also desktop-based or mobile-based RSS feeds if you prefer.)

One of the most popular aggregators is Google Reader, which allows you to add your favorite news websites and blogs with the click of a button. To set up your own Google Reader account, simply sign in with a Gmail address and click “Reader.” On the left side of the screen, you can easily subscribe to any blog or news outlet. The newest, unread blog posts will show up in your “Home” screen.

Other popular RSS feed aggregators include Bloglines, MySyndicatt, and FeedReader.

How do I decide what to add to my RSS feed?

Your feed should reflect what you’re most interested in. PRSSA offers several different RSS feeds, including national news, Chapter news, internships, and blog posts. You can also subscribe to receive all PRSSA updates in one feed.

My personal feed includes a mix of national news (such as CNN Breaking News Alerts) and public relations industry blogs. Looking for a few great public relations student-based blogs? Check out these suggestions from PRSSA 2010-2011 Vice President of Professional Development Therese Kuster.

What are your favorite RSS feeds? What types of tools do you use to manage your online content?

This is a guest post by Abby Stollar. Abby is president of the University of Delaware Chapter of PRSSA. You can follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog.

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