Real Simple Syndication (RSS) has a long history and a special place in the history of the Internet, namely because it has survived, morphed and come out on the other end stronger and better suited to handle the large volume of content being published than many other productivity apps.
RSS was primarily used for people to follow the articles and publications of multiple sites without having to visit each site individually, and RSS readers were simple services.
Now, the best way to discover relevant, fresh content is through RSS.
6 ways to use RSS feeds for content idea discovery
Haven’t used RSS readers in a while? It’s time for a brief refresher.
Readers are now slicker and customizable, faster and available on mobile devices. Roadblocks to subscribing to sites have been thoroughly dealt with, whether through tools like RSS.app or generating a custom RSS feed link within the reader itself.
All the original features have been greatly improved, so the current generation of RSS readers has set its sights on how to bring readers to valuable content.
Find news sources you follow
RSS readers have undergone a significant transformation in their purpose.
Whereas before they served as a dump for the sites you already follow, now they hand you the steering wheel and let you loose in the digital world. Content discovery is now an expected feature and RSS readers like Inoreader and Feedly have so-called Discovery modes for just this purpose.
It’s not about what you know, but what you can know. A principle, which has informed the next five ways to use RSS.
Search for specific keywords
The search bar has become a best friend to any modern RSS reader, Inoreader more so than others, in that it allows users to discover content within its current subscriptions and beyond.
We understand how time consuming it normally is to spend precious minutes trying to find a post, trying a string of keywords and phrases without much luck. Inoreader continues to develop and improve the search functionalities it offers.
Between free, global and active search, users can locate RSS feeds of sites they’ve not subscribed to, locate articles in their current feed, anywhere in the world and even subscribe to a search you’ve already performed.
Find related topics
Google is not always as useful as one thinks. Yes, the entirety of the Internet is accessible through it and yet, you don’t always find articles in specific topics as easily. RSS readers have invested in the element of discovery.
Recommended topics are the norm of the day. Inoreader asks you upon registration what are the topics that most interest you and from then on, you’re able to search for new material within those topics. A step further is Inoreader’s Sort by Magic feature, which increases the chances to discover exciting content intuitively.
View social media posts from accounts you like
Social media and newsletters contributed to the demise of RSS back in the late 00s and now we’re seeing a full circle moment resulting from the proliferation of platforms available and the death of the chronological feed. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all operate on algorithms, which take into account viewing history, interests and likes, and narrow down what users experience on their feeds.
RSS readers remain chronological and empower users to curate content as they see fit, so now it’s expected to syndicate content from social media accounts. Especially useful in terms of social media listening.
Keep track of new blog posts, podcasts, YouTube videos
In the olden times, RSS readers syndicated only one type of content – articles on blogs. It was a simpler time for sure, but we’re far from it. With the advent of social media and video technology, a person follows not just news sites and blogs, but also receives information through podcasts and content on YouTube.
RSS has kept in step with these developments and many readers now support multimedia content, even posts on Tumblr or comment sections. No more having to divide your attention between not just numerous landing pages, but also platforms.
The benefits of using RSS feeds
Productivity is the buzzword on everyone’s lips and productivity is not attainable without a solid approach to optimization.
RSS has already proved itself as the perfect tool to boost productivity levels at work. Here are just a few of the immediate benefits you experience upon setting up your own RSS reader:
Always be updated
RSS refreshes each site and other type of information channel at even intervals every few seconds, thus removing any manual labor on the user’s end. Certain RSS readers syndicate content in real time, which further smooths your workflow.
The migration of RSS readers from browsers onto mobile applications has also ensured the posts and articles most important to you follow you in your pocket, wherever you go, and are accessible even offline.
Easy to find the information you like
It’s one thing to feed the content from multiple sites and accounts into one place. Quite another to navigate said content efficiently. RSS gives you the greenlight to go wild with the customization and filtering to structure incoming content in ways that service your work best.
Inoreader has mastered the art of user curation.
Users can tinker with tags, folders and the opportunity to group feeds by topic of interest – food, technology, literature, so on – to arrive at a personal feed structured to their best liking.
Never miss an important news and posts
Even the best-curated RSS feed reader is not enough to keep on track with content. What can you do to instantly notice an important piece of information or announcement?
Inoreader has the answer – integrate your RSS with third-party clients such as Zapier and ITTT to unlock a lot more capabilities. Inoreader already supports OneNote, Google Drive, Ever Note and Pocket, so you already have ways to save truly important articles through Rules.
Set a chain of triggers and actions, which save, share and alert you about the content you’ve been waiting for. If this information is crucial for the work of a team, you can easily disseminate across messaging apps and email.