A news reader, also known as a news aggregator, is a software program which collects and displays news in a single user interface. It enables users to quickly and easily find the most recent news and content from a range of sources, including websites, blogs and RSS feeds.
News readers were first developed in the early 2000s and have since become a key tool for many people in staying up to date with the news and managing content from multiple sources. A news reader is an ideal tool for people who are looking to stay informed while busy or away from a computer, as they enable users to view content quickly and easily without having to visit each source individually.
What is a News Reader?
A news reader is a piece of software that allows users to quickly and easily access a range of news sources, websites and blogs. It aggregates all of these sources into one user interface, allowing users to view content from multiple sources in a single view.
News readers allow users to control what content they see and when. By entering keyword searches within the reader, users are able to narrow down the content to only articles and websites that interest them, enabling them to find the information they are looking for quickly and efficiently.
News readers are part of the wider ‘RSS’ (Really Simple Syndication) family; RSS is a family of webfeed formats used to publish frequently updated content, such as blogs and news articles. The news reader accesses content from a range of RSS feeds, with users having the ability to specify additional content which they would like the reader to display.
News readers can be set up on both desktop and mobile devices, and can be a useful tool for those who wish to stay updated with the news even when they are away from their computer.
How Does a News Reader Work?
When a user sets up a news reader, they will enter the desired RSS feed sources, and can also enter subscription settings to determine how often these sources refresh. These settings will determine how often the news reader checks for new content, and also how often it updates and displays this content within the user interface.
The news reader will then continue to search for content from the specified sources, and once new content is acquired, the reader will be updated with the latest news. The reader will also track and display the time the content was last updated, so users have the ability to keep track of how recent the content is.
News readers typically allow users to group associated content together and give them the ability to share or post the articles, adding to their own social network feed or sharing with followers.
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Choosing a News Reader
There are a range of news readers available, with different services offering different features. Other than reading feeds and updating sources, some news readers offer more advanced features, such as tagging and categorising articles and filtering out unwanted content.
When choosing a news reader, it is important to consider the devices and platforms that the user wishes to install the reader on. Popular desktop devices tend to support a greater range of news readers, with more mobile-friendly readers often put forward as the best choice for users on the go.
Using a News Reader
Once a reader has been selected, installation is usually simple and usually follows the same steps across all readers. Upon installation, the user will be prompted to enter the feeds they wish to merge and any additional settings, before being presented with their newly created news reader.
The reader will typically be displayed as a list of text and images, with users able to filter their view depending on the settings which they have entered. It is important to establish these settings prior to initiating the reader, as the wrong settings may lead to the display of unwanted or irrelevant content.
The news reader will also offer users the ability to post content directly to social networks, enabling them to share the latest news with their followers and contacts.
Effective Use of a News Reader
News readers come with a range of settings which enable users to limit and control the content they see. It is a good idea to take some time to explore the various settings and become familiar with how the reader works, as this will enable the user to get the most out of the software.
When using a news reader, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the reader and consider why the user is accessing the content. As the reader is constantly checking for new content, it is easy for the reader to become ‘spammed’ or cluttered with content which is unnecessary or not relevant.
It can be a good idea to limit the number of sources the reader checks, as too many sources may lead to content becoming overwhelming and difficult to manage. Additionally, it is a good idea to check the sources regularly to ensure they are still active and displaying accurate and up to date content.