RSS reader: benefits of using RSS to find information

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Cronycle is a research platform. In order to help our users find and surface the most relevant content for their research purposes, we take advantage of RSS feeds. You could call us a very sophisticated version of an RSS reader or news aggregator – and so we wanted to give you the low down on what RSS is, and how we use it to your advantage.

What are RSS feeds?

By using RSS feeds, you are able to view many different articles from many different websites on one page. This is done by using an RSS reader. As a publisher updates the content on their site, the RSS feed is automatically updated too.

Most publishers produce RSS feeds, so they can be a highly effective way to analyse and read through a lot of information on specific topics very  quickly. Imagine you have RSS feeds from multiple national and international publishers. As news breaks – you get to see many different points of view in one place. Otherwise you would have to toggle between tabs on browsers, and you may not see specific news items that do not hit the front page.

RSS can be a highly effective way to analyse and read through a lot of information on specific topics very quickly

RSS (otherwise known as Really Simple Syndication) were invented so we could read large volumes of content very quickly. However, RSS feeds require software that can read the code, and present it in a way that you can easily read.

This is where an RSS reader comes in. RSS readers have the ability to take lots of different publishers feeds and present them in one big feed, so you can see news as it breaks.

Where has RSS been limiting in the past?

In the past, RSS feeds have turned RSS readers into content fire hoses. This is because RSS feeds (often) display every article that is appearing on that content website. Techcruch’s RSS feed throws up 34 articles a day. As soon as you have 10 feeds, you have hundreds of articles to read, and many of them will be irrelevant for your purposes. Unless you have the time to sit and just monitor an RSS reader, the chances are you’ll miss quality articles, or never have the time to do anything else.

It is this problem of ‘noise’, which many are trying to solve. Every business wants to be able to surface the best and most relevant content for their intelligence. It is this quest for ‘signal’ which is occupying the time of technology companies, publishers and intelligence agencies.

Many methods of doing this has resorted to robotic algorithms, which have a poor reputation for delivering relevant content. They rely on news which is trending, and is engaging for readers. This does not mean that the content is true nor informative – and no robot has the means for determining these things at present.

What’s a robotic algorithm?

Most people are familiar with Facebook feeds or Twitter feeds. Both of these feeds used to operate in a similar way to an RSS reader. That is, they would take multiple news activity from your friends or the people you follow, and show you the activity in a chronological timeline.

However, now, Facebook and Twitter have complicated algorithms which understand the way you interact with content, and what content engages you and what doesn’t. As a result, many activities from your friends are not displayed on your feed, and you may see an overwhelming amount of information from a particular person.

This is a robotic algorithm. They take inputs from your behaviour and guess what information you would find interesting in the future.

When contrasted with a human editor of a newspaper, there is a clear difference. A human editor is able to take all the information at hand and present the most relevant articles for their audience in a way which is readable and easy to understand.

On the other hand, a robotic algorithm has no concept of what is true nor false, and so often presents articles which are ‘clickbaity’, and make the reader procrastinate.

So how does Cronycle help find the signal in the noise?

RSS reader, RSS, boolean search, filter, signal and noise

Cronycle has a unique solution for finding signal whilst you are doing critical business research. We allow you to create your own algorithm.

You can either input keywords which must appear in the titles or articles themselves, or you can create a complex boolean search, so you can create feeds which are highly relevant for your work.

This means that you are in complete control, and you only view the articles that appear in your feed that contain your keywords.

We allow you to create your own algorithm

As a result, you are not relying on trending topics, but instead you can see articles before they start to trend. They are also personalised for your needs and take the sources which you already trust – so you can optimise your feeds to present factual articles.

What’s more, Cronycle does not just rely on RSS feeds to create custom feeds. We also take Twitter handles too, so you can see the articles the people you trust are sharing on social networks.

RSS Readers – a summary

RSS readers are a great way to access all the information you need in one place. Cronycle takes this technology one step further, giving you the means to filter specific RSS feeds by your keywords. You can then collaborate with your team on research using a shared feed, and truly get insight into topics which are going to further your business and make you money.

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