Safari’s RSS Reader Features

I was going through comments recently to see what folks have been most vocal about and the postings about Safari as an RSS reader have captured the most visits to date. And, I saw Maryam’s recent postings asking about RSS feed readers on Mac. So, let’s give the audience what they’re most insterested in: Safari as an RSS reader.

At first I didn’t quite clue into Safari’s full capabilities either. So, I struggled along with lots of other apps all the time wishing I had something more integrated into my existing browser(s). NetNewsWire was really good, but it was another app I had to have open. Camino’s nice but lacking other things I wanted. Firefox was really good too but still missing some things.

It wasn’t until I had assessed all the apps I wanted to, that Safari’s “at bat” came back up. Something just clicked having looked at everything else. My brain was in a more receptive (and agitated) mode. I wanted something better and knew Apple couldn’t have dropped the ball! So, here’s what I found:

I’m using Safari version 2.0.4 (419.3). I also download Webkit on a fairly routine basis and have nothing earth shatteringly new to report on the RSS side of life there. (WebKit is the open source version of Safari that sometime has features before Safari does).

So, on with the pics.

1) This is how I know when a site has at least one RSS feed to pick from. If a site has more than one I’m kinda screwed unless it’s noted somewhere on the sites page and manages to capture my attention.

RSS Feed Available

2) This is how I subscribe. I make sure the Bookmark Bar is visible all the time (Shift + Apple + B). Then I click on the little RSS button (highlighted above). Then I will drag that feed by clicking and dragging on the icon for the feed as highlighted immediately below to the Bookmarks Bar Folder I created for my feeds. You’ll see why this distinction is important (as opposed to just making a regular bookmark of each feed).

Bookmarks Bar

3) This is how I’ve begun to arrange my feeds. By clicking on the little book looking icon I can specify what appears on the bookmarks bar. In this case I want a folder with all my feed. Inside that folder are other folders: AList; Apple; BlogThis; Business; VC; etc.

Now, on the Bookmarks Bar it’s easy to see at a glance just how much activity is occurring (if any) and drive right on into the content, or queue up only bits of interest to watch at any given time.

See, if you did this namby pamby a bookmark at a time you wouldn’t be taking advantage of the Bookmark Bars ability to tell you the feeds are updating and by how many. Otherwise, you have to constantly be looking at the Bookmarks menu and that’s a drag.

RSS Organizing

4) As, I normally do, I keep a tab open almost all the time and it refreshes fairly frequently (not so much or so little that it’s annoying)

5) And I keep the feeds abbreviated (with the slider set almost all the way to the left) so as to see if there’s anything really useful to me right now (headline, source, snippet).

Expanded or truncated? Your choice.

I’ve never really seen anyone provide this kind of tutorial on Safari as the effective RSS reader that it can be. And, I’m certain Leopard and the impending Safari updates to follow will render this into a pile of useless drivel. But, until then… I hope this sheds some light on just how VERY good an RSS tool Safari is.

Explore posts in the same categories: Apple, Apple/OS X, opml, RSS, Safari

One Comment on “Safari’s RSS Reader Features”

  1. aRdent Says:

    Very nice step-by-step. Thanks for taking the time to post this for those of us too lazy to explore and fiddle with it. This may well be the final thing that gets me to make Safari the default instead of Deerpark (G4 optimized Firefox).

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