We continued ourwith some guidance to get your nonprofit’s blog out via an RSS feed that allows people to subscribe to your site. When they subscribe, they get automatic updates and summaries of whatever is going on in your blog. The great aspect of setting an RSS feed for your organization’s blog is that you encourage people to subscribe to your feed, then outreach to your supporters is automatic. Moreover, readers can forward a single link to their colleagues and friends to encourage them to subscribe.
But what about the advantages of using Really Simple Syndication as a reader and follower of news in the nonprofit world? With just a bit of setup organization, you will find RSS a fabulous way to get to the information you want coming to you, rather than hunting out for it.
RSS remains one of the great untapped resources of the internet, despite the fact it has been. RSS readers grab only the headline and a summary (or, if you adjust your settings, the entire article) of updates to websites, which means you don’t have to contend with advertising and you can scan the updates to focus on stories particularly relevant to you. RSS feeds can even help tame emails: most organizations and companies that send email blasts also have RSS feeds for your convenience − Including MKCREATIVEmedia.
There are numerous ways to read your feeds, and the mainline browsers all support such news aggregators. In the Windows World, Internet Explorer can gather your subscriptions in the ‘Favorites’ folder. So . Cross-platform browsers like Chrome or Firefox will do so as well, though downloading a plugin is usually required. A list of such plugins for Chrome can be found here − and for Firefox here. In the Maciverse, Safari is its own pretty robust reader. Most of us spend most of our online time in our browsers, so the convenience of using that same tool for the feeds seems evident.
You can also get a dedicated RSS reader that allows you to slice-and-dice your feeds with even greater sophistication. Starting again with Windows, a couple that we have checked out are KSoft’s RSS Submit. KSoft’s program is pricey at $75 to $125 (especially when you can read these feeds for free in IE), but its Professional and SEO licenses include features to track readership coming to your feed as well as subscription analytics across well over 100 aggregators. Such tools could be really handy for a nonprofit wanting to track readership. As for newsXpresso, we enjoyed the fun and casual interface (unusual in the beige-box world of Microsoft) − t looks rather like a page of your subscriptions. It’s much less expensive ($15), and the software installs on laptops, desktops, Windows and Android tablets and smart phones. Both packages come with limited trials, so you can poke around before purchasing.and
Those on the Mac platform are spoiled for riches. And they all are still in development. We are big fans of , which is free and open-source, but a bit more ‘manual’ than others. If you are something of a news traditionalist, we came across Pulp while researching this article, which has a nice folded-newspaper look about it. Synching with the ubiquitous Google Reader is not so simple, though. Be prepared for some tinkering.
The whole point of an RSS reader is to bring news of topics or blogs or sites that are of particular interest to you and your colleagues. You don’t want the reader itself to get in the way, so explore a few before making a purchase − or enjoy the convenience of aggregation right in the browser you already have. But also be sure your organization is broadcasting its RSS feed as well to give others the convenience you will enjoy.
Do you have a recommendation for a reader that you’d like to share? Please do in the comments!