News is coming at us faster than we can keep up and while we all have our favorite websites to check on each day, I'm going to venture a bet that you probably don't have time to constantly refresh each site throughout the day to see if anything new has been posted. That's where RSS comes in!
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Basically it's a "feed" from the site. Each time a new story is posted the site, the feed is updated. Mac OS X's Safari browser has had RSS support for years. However, since Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and of course Snow Leopard, now you can subscribe to RSS feeds right in Mail. I LOVE THIS! I'm in my email multiple times a day and right along side my email messages are stories/posts from my favorite sites and blogs. Each update comes in just like an email message. I can see the first few lines of the story, maybe a picture too and decide if I want to read more or not. If I want to read more I simply click the "Read More" link and then I'm taken over to Safari (or your default browser) to read the entire article. If it's something that I'm NOT interested in, I just hit delete and it's gone from my inbox. It's sooooo simple! There's another reason that I like my RSS feeds in Mail. It makes it EASY to forward the info to someone else that I know that needs it. Since it comes into Mail like an email, I can treat it like one by hitting the Forward button. A new email message pops up containing the blog post and I just key in the email address(es) that it's going to and hit send.
Subscribe to this blog!
OK, the steps I'm about to show you will work for just about any site that has an RSS feed. Most news sites have them and most blogs have them too. You can always tell if a site has one in Safari because you'll see the RSS button right in the address bar.
Step 1: Navigate to the site you want to get the RSS feed for using Safari. Here, let me help you: http://macgroup.org/macnews/
Step 2: Now look for the "Feeds" link and if the site doesn't specifically call one out, you can just click the RSS button like the one above. You may also see the standard RSS logo:
You can usually click this icon as well.
Step 3: Now the actual RSS feed will appear in your Safari browser.
Now just click the Plus sign to the left of the address to add it as a bookmark.
Step 4: Safari will ask if you want to bookmark the feed in either Mail or Safari or both.
You can do either, but like I said I prefer them in Mail. So I'd check Mail and click the Add button.
Step 5: That's really it. From that point on, any new posts to the blog/website will automatically come in your InBox as an email, but without tying up space on your email server since it's not really an email. Once you receive one, you can either read it or just delete it if you're not interested.
I have a lot of feeds in Mail and it works great!
One More Thing: Create an "Unread Mail" Smart Mailbox
As it stands now your RSS feeds will all come in to their respective inboxes (Mailboxes), but I want to see all my unread mail AND RSS feeds in one spot at one time. As I click on each one, it will be marked "read" and therefore the next time I come back to the Unread Mail mailbox, they won't be there (yes, they will still be in their respective mailboxes (folders) unless you delete them).
Step 1: Click the + sign at the bottom left of the Mail app window and choose "New Smart Mailbox…" from the menu that pops up.
Step 2: Name your Smart Mailbox "Unread Mail", make sure it contains Messages that match All of the following conditions:
Message is Unread
Message is not in Mailbox (Junk or Spam or whatever folder your junk mail goes into).
Incude messages from Trash and Sent are unchecked and then click OK
Step 3: Now you will have an Unread Smart Mailbox that will dynamically update with ANY messages you receive from any account AND your RSS feeds from any site, all in one place!
P.S. I'd highly recommend subscribing to the DealMac.com RSS feed. I've gotten some sweet deals from there that I would have otherwise missed if it wasn't for the feed.