We hear it all the time: fewer people are reading traditional magazines and newspapers, and are getting their news updates online.  It’s no secret that tech savvy people have looked to the internet as their news source for years, but recently we’ve seen a significant uptick in those beginner and less-frequent computer users wanting to get online to follow news too.  Regardless of where you are in the spectrum, chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve gone online to find your news in the past, and we want to talk about some of the different ways to make reading various news sources online as easy as possible.

  1. Visit The Direct Site.  Most of us have gone to www.cnn.com, or www.foxnews.com at some point or another, and it’s probably the simplest way to go get the news you’re looking for.  While it’s not so hard if you just have a few sources that you want to check, but it will quickly get overwhelming if you have multiple sites that you want to regularly visit.  Sure, you can bookmark all of the different pages, but it can quickly become a time consuming task to find exactly what you’re looking for if you have to manually remember- and luckily there are ways to make this process easier.
  2. Subscribe to RSS feeds.  Following RSS feeds is one of my favorite ways to quickly stay connected with the various news sources I frequently read.  Many news sites or blogs have an RSS feed you can subscribe to that will automatically format and deliver the content you’re looking for to one universal place.  Essentially, an RSS feed is a a website link that formats content into one standard format for reading, removing annoying ads and videos.  For example, if you follow politics, you can subscribe to the politics RSS feeds from various news sources (cnn.com, foxnews.com, abcnews.com, etc.) and have them all delivered to one spot on your computer that you regularly check for news. Your web browser probably has an RSS reader built in to it (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer)- meaning you can click on a link or shortcut in your internet browser and simply view all the news right in there, ad free.
  3. Use A RSS Program or Website.  If you have multiple computers you use regularly, or have many different feeds you follow, it might be worthwhile to look into news management programs and websites.  Popular websites like feedly.com, feedreader.com, and innoreader.com, all offer a single website that can manage multiple RSS feeds, giving you one location to go to to view all of your news.  The advantage here (and the difference from the option above) is that with one login, you can simply and easily view your news stories on multiple computers- including your phone or tablet- making it a nice universal choice that will work anywhere.
  4. Have Your News Delivered To Your Email.  Hands down, one of the best free services I use on a daily basis is blogtrottr.com.  I have some RSS feeds that I have subscribed to, and it will send a customized email to you when you choose (daily digest, each time a new article/post is added, etc).  I talked about this a few years back on my blog, but I still use the service daily, and for multiple different feeds.  It simply works great!
  5. Save Your News To Read Later.  We’ve all had that time where we come across an article online, but we don’t have the time to read it right now but we want to remember to get back to read it later.  Free services like Pocket allow you to quickly save an article to come back to later, and make it simple to share that “list of articles you want to read someday” with your smartphone, tablet, or other computers you use.  Sure, you could save that link with a bookmark in your browser, but this allows you to sync the list across multiple devices, and removes advertisements and distractions from the page as well.
  6. Use A Service That Learns Your Likes.  Using something like Google News to find the news your looking for gives you some additional options.  Visiting google.com/news, you’ll see it’s simply a website that lists all of the popular or trending stories that other pages are reporting; it simply reports news that other sites are reporting. However, what makes it unique is that over time, it learns the types of articles you like to click on, and populates the news you see first on their page with what thinks is the news you’re most interested in reading.  Read a lot of articles about technology and it will keep putting technology articles at the top of your list.  It’s an interesting approach (and it’s customize through their settings).  Apple News on the iPhone has a similar approach…you tell it you like technology articles, and it will show you the top technology articles when you want to read them.