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Save Time Online with RSS
By: Chaille Brindley

Pallet Enterprise, TimberLine, and Materials Handling Add RSS Feed
With millions of sites on the Web, it can be hard to keep up with your favorite sites. Industrial Reporting Inc., the publisher of Pallet Enterprise, TimberLine, and Materials Handling recently added Real Simple Syndication (RSS) to make it even easier to keep tabs on the latest news and industry information.

RSS delivers content directly to a reader's desktop using a general Web browser or small program called a news aggregator. Subscribing is simple and free.

Instead of having to visit all your favorite sites, what if they came to you in one easy-to-use page that kept you updated with the latest changes, new and information? That is what RSS does. It saves tons of time. Think of RSS as a well-organized, personalized inbox for the Web.

Below are the basics of RSS.

Advantages of RSS

  • RSS aggregators are set up to periodically check for new items in the feeds you are subscribed to, commonly once every hour. You can also avoid all the non-new information on a web page, including the ads, menus, or take it a step further and skip information that is not interesting or relevant to your objectives.
  • Read more information from more sites…faster.
  • The news comes to you rather than you having to go get it.
  • RSS feeds allow publishers to distribute content to a wide audience of subscribers while overcoming problems caused by spam filters, delayed distributions, e-mail clutter, etc.
  • You can organize feeds into categories if you want to browse content from a specific genre of Web site, such as general news sites or industry-specific content.

Simple as 1,2,3
Using RSS is simple even for a Web novice. Step one is to get a free RSS reader or aggregator. More on this in a minute. The next thing is to subscribe to feeds that you want to receive. The third step is to access your reader/aggregator on a regular basis. It's just that easy to reduce hours of Web surfing time.

What is a reader or aggregator?
The first thing you need to effectively use RSS is a RSS reader or RSS aggregator. These programs collect all the RSS feeds you have decided to subscribe to and present them through one interface.

The biggest difference between feed readers is whether they are stand-alone clients or are Web-based services accessed through your browser. Stand-alone clients are useful if you want to access your feeds even if you're offline. And one feed reader, News Gator, even integrates into Microsoft Outlook, making your feeds virtually indistinguishable from your email.

By contrast, Web-based services require you to be online to access your feeds. But they also offer other features such as feed search, the ability to integrate feeds with other sources of information in a portal-like fashion and so on. Some people use more than one reader to do different things. But that's probably overkill if you are new to RSS.

Read more about various reader/aggregator options.

Bloglines – Is a free Web-based reader with lots of extra tools.

FeedDemon – Is a standalone reader that resembles MS Outlook. It integrates both podcasts and RSS feeds. The major downside is that it costs $29.95 to purchase.

Google Desktop – A free Web-based reader that suggests new feeds to subscribe to based on your Web browsing habits.

My Yahoo – A free personalized Web portal from Yahoo! that includes RSS feeds and other cool features.

NewsGator – Comes as both a free online feed reader, and a desktop-based version that integrates into Microsoft Outlook. The standalone Outlook version is a subscription-based product with the standard version costing $19.95 per year.

Pluck – A free Web-based reader with a search toolbar and online bookmark manager.

Subscribe to Pallet Enterprise's RSS Feed

  1. Copy the URL: http://www.palletenterprise.com/articledatabase/RSS/PE_Article_Feed.xml
  2. Paste the URL into your reader.

Or Click the button that corresponds to your preferred reader for one-click subscription. This only works if you have already established the preferred reader before clicking on the icon.

Please note that by accessing any of IRI's RSS feeds, you agree to our terms of use. Find out more here.

How do I know if a site offers RSS?
You may recognize the universal feed icon or these "chicklets" from your favorite Web sites, blogs, and podcasts. These icons represent content in any format that you can subscribe to using RSS.

In Internet Explorer the RSS feed icon image in the navigation bar turns orange when a site has active RSS content. Click on feed icon to view or subscribe.

Finding RSS feeds to subscribe to is pretty easy - you probably already have access to them. Go to your favorite website (if they have a web search function you could search for it) but there should be a "subscribe to feed" option somewhere on the homepage.

Go to this helpful tutorial to better understand the advantages of RSS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU