Whether you want to practice the trombone or play with your children, using an RSS reader is usually the starting point for any strategy to collect and unplug so that you can get on with living your life. Many of you probably already use RSS feeds in this way and, if so, this post might be a little basic for you and you’ll probably think I’m way behind the times.
But that’s the point. Our times are frenetic. We’re scattered and stretched and wasting time and energy on stuff that doesn’t matter or that can be done more easily using simple technologies like RSS. And many people either don’t know there are tools available to help take control back or are intimidated by them.
A little about RSS
First, the acronym “RSS” stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a way that websites and blogs can let you know there’s something new available and (often) allow you to read it at your leisure. The best analogy or schema I’ve heard is that it’s a lot like the Associated Press‘s news wire.
- First, nearly half of my readers use some form of RSS reader to keep up with my blog.
- Second, maybe you have an analogy for what it is and how it works; your analogy might even be better. If so, why not share it in the comments?
Not Getting Too Technical
I’m not actually all that interested in the technical side of how an RSS feed works (if you are, you can read more about that here). Rather, I’m interested in using an RSS feed to automate and collect. So, let’s look at the five steps of RSS that actually matter.
Last week I told you that it was OK for you to unplug. However, that’s not going far enough. You need to unplug.
Of course, saying it is the easy part, actually unplugging is difficult. It’s especially difficult if you’re afraid you’re going to miss something important. However, especially in terms of your electronic interactions, you can use technology to collect stuff that’s important while you’re unplugged. Then, when you plug back in, your important stuff is, in the words of Richard Marx, “right [there] waiting for you.” (yeah, I’m that old)
OK. I want to unplug. But how do I collect stuff?