With any RSS newsreader, you can "subscribe" to the web sites you want to check frequently. That is, you tell the RSS newsreader software to check a list of web sites, and you create the list. The RSS newsreader software then retrieves all the new articles from all the web sites and displays them for you in a single screen. You simply read all the articles from that one screen. In practice, it is a bit similar to reading e-mail messages: all the messages have been brought to you and displayed in once place. The same is true with RSS newsreaders: all the new articles have been brought to you in one convenient place, either on your computer or on some single web site.
RSS newsfeeds are available for genealogy news, worldwide news, sports scores, stock market information, weather reports, airline flight information (Is my flight delayed?), sales at retail stores, and much, much more. Nowadays, most sites that display frequently-changing information offer that information in two formats: as traditional web sites and as RSS newsfeeds.
I prefer RSS newsreader software that installs in my computer. It is the fastest method I have found for keeping up to date with everything. However, installing such software means finding it on the web, downloading it, running the installation routine, and then probably configuring the software. Admittedly, all this scares off many computer owners who are less comfortable with software installation. Many people will want a simpler solution.
My second-favorite RSS newsreader is Google Reader. It works entirely online. You simply go to http://www.google.com/reader and open a free account (if you do not already have one). Any Google account will do. You then tell Google Reader what RSS newsfeeds you want to monitor. Google does everything after that. You simply return to http://www.google.com/reader at your convenience to read the latest information from all the web sites you specified.
Being web-based, Google Reader works equally well on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, Palm, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian, and Android devices. (Mobile devices should point to http://m.google.com/reader.) In addition, you can access it from any computer with an internet connection – be it at a friend’s house, a library, or a hotel – just by logging on to your Google account.
If you have not yet tried RSS newsfeeds, I'd suggest that you go to http://www.google.com/reader and try it. I suspect you'll be glad you did. Best of all, Google Reader is available free of charge.
By the way, the RSS newsfeed for this newsletter is http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/atom.xml.