Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tip Tuesday: More RSS


An informal and completely unscientific poll over at ehmac showed that I am by far in the minority when if comes to using Safari as an RSS reader.

Mail, strangely, was much preferred. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the push pull thing. We are used to our email pulling down information, while with our browsers, we have to go out and get things. To have something show up in Safari automatically just doesn't jive with our way of thinking around the way Apps work.

For me, I love the fact that feeds open up in browsers when I click on them (or rather, right click on them and open in new window), and I'm not always bouncing between two apps.

But because Mail was nearly twice as popular as Safari, I decided to give it a go.

Adding an RSS feed in safari is drag and drop easy. Adding a feed in Mail is slightly more complicated.

First you need to know where the feed is. The easiest way to locate it is in Safari. Just like using Safari as an RSS reader, click on the blue RSS icon at the end of your address bar to have the page roll over to the RSS feed. Note how the address has changed to look like this:

Copy the URL (select the URL, then click command-C), and switch over to Mail.

Under File, select "Add RSS Feed". You are given two options:Browse feeds that are already in Safari (and you'll see a list), or Specify a custom Feed URL. (You can also click the plus button at the bottom of the mail window and select add RSS feed. You can also just drag and drop the url from Safari into the box).

We're going to choose the latter, then paste the URL into the dialogue box. You can choose to show RSS feeds in inbox or keep them separate.

Besides the reasons I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons I don't like using Mail as an RSS reader is I can't read the whole article. With Safari, I can scale up and down the amount of the feed I want to get, from just the headlines, to the whole thing. With Mail, I am limited to only the part of the feed the owner of the feed has decided to pass on to me. So that means if I want to read the whole thing, I have to go back to Safari anyway.

Well, you can see where my biases lie. I am testing out Mail for RSS, though, and if I have an epiphany, I'll let you know.

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