Hopefully, you've already discovered the niftiness that is Really Simple Syndication, or RSS. RSS consists of feeds from websites that are meant to summarize recent news, blog posts, etc. If you're using firefox, it's that little orange thing in the top right corner of the address box. I've been searching for the perfect RSS Reader for quite some time. At first, I was using this FireFox plugin called Sage, but the problem with it is that it's local to your computer, so you can't have the same feeds at work without a lot of importing and exporting of feed lists and synching.
Next, I tried using del.icio.us, which, when integrated with FireFox will show the feeds in the bookmark bar on the left. The problem with this one was that it didn't list out the feeds from blogs in date order or remove one that had already been read. No dice.
Next, I tried out BlogLines, which keeps all of your feeds online so that they're accessible from anywhere, but I never found myself actually going to the bloglines website to check feeds and I wasn't about to go changing my home page.
Finally, last week, I ran into Google Reader and the Google Reader Greasemonkey Extension for Gmail in FireFox. Google Reader is a lot like BlogLines. But there's a Greasemonkey script that turns gmail into a split screen with gmail on top and your rss feeds on the bottom. (You can turn off the split screen any time, too.) Of course, none of this works unless you use FireFox and have a Gmail account. Here's what you'll need:
- A gmail account
- A Google Reader account
- Some RSS Feeds. You can import a .opml file from BlogLines or Sage that you export OR you can just click the little Orange thing in the Firefox address bar and select Google Reader as the application to read the feed.
- The Greasemonkey Firefox Extension
- The Gmail + Google Reader Greasemonkey script
Looking at it now, that's a lot of steps, but once it's all up and running it's great to have gmail and your news and blog feeds all in the same place. Once it's all installed, there's a little "Reader" link that pops up in gmail, which, when clicked will drop in a whole Google Reader pane in the gmail style.Ta!