Using RSS Feeds

A Guide for Malaysian Doctors 


Medical RSS Feeds 


Suffering from Information Overload? Want to know how to gather a lot of information from websites and be able to skim over multiple websites in a jiffy?
This little tutorial will show you how to tame the tons of information available on the Internet and how to keep up with updates without having to manually surf over to each and every website you are interested in.

The secret is to use RSS. 

What is RSS? WIkipedia has a good overview of RSS 
A lot of websites now offer RSS feeds and with these, you can view the site's updated contents very easily.
Major news sites like CNN, BBC all nowadays offer RSS feeds as a way to browse the sites.Most blogs too have RSS feeds. Medical sites are only just catching up but the major medical portals like Medscape already offer RSS feeds. Medical Journals are rather slow to adopt RSS feeds but I'll share a few that I am aware of.

How do I get started?

First of all you need an RSS reader capable of reading the feeds. There are quite a few free standalone RSS readers (client software)

One example which caters for doctors is Medreader. This is a free standalone client software which comes with quite a number of RSS feeds pre-installed, including many medical ones, categorised by sub-specialties.

My current favourite RSS reader is Bloglines. This is a free service which instead of using a standalone client, just uses your browser so you don't have to install any software, just sign up for a free account and start adding your RSS feeds. It's really simple. Bloglines gives you a split view with the list of sites you subscribe to on the left and the site feed contents on the right:

  I highly recommend you use Bloglines. It is very easy to use, to add/delete feeds and is compatible with the different feed formats out there. The best part of Bloglines is that it can automatically detect the site's RSS feed(s) for you. They even have an Easy Bookmarklet function which integrates with your Browser to enable you to subscribe to your favourite website's RSS feed. 
Note that it is quite common to denote RSS feeds (or XML feeds as they are sometimes known as) with this image   

The next section will assume you are using Bloglines as your RSS feed reader. 


Next: Medical RSS Feeds