April 1, 2005

Keeping Up With Your Favorite Blogs

There are several excellent atheist blogs out there, not to mention the many news portals gathering information of interest to atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers. How does one cope with the volume of information, staying current without getting overwhelmed?

What if there was a program that would automatically inform you everytime your favorite blogs were updated or every time a news story was published anywhere in the world dealing with topics relevant to atheism (e.g., Ten Commandments, Christian right, church and state, etc.)? If this sounds appealing, then it is time to discover the world of RSS feeds.

For a brief explanation of RSS and what it can do for you, look here or here. Now that you have some idea what I'm talking about, it is time to get an RSS Reader program. For a free reader, I recommend FeedReader. Try it and discover how useful RSS can be.

Once you have the program, it is time to set up some feeds. The Atheist Revolution feed can be accessed here. All you have to do is cut and paste the URL into FeedReader. Clicking on the orange XML button you will find on many sites will do the same thing. Once set up, FeedReader will run in the background and pop-up links to new posts so that you can decide whether or not they are worth checking out. Most reputable news sites now offer RSS (e.g., CNN, Yahoo, USAToday, etc.).

When you are ready to discover the real power of RSS, head over to Yahoo and scroll down the page until you see "Create your own RSS news feeds" and see the search box. Enter a keyword of your choice in this search box, and Yahoo will create a personalized RSS feed for you. For example, if you enter "atheist," an RSS feed will be created that will pull news stories from around the world in which the word "atheist" appears. This is a great way to track news about topics that are of interest to you.
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