Keeping abreast of all the important developments in an industry is a daunting task. RSS readers provide an efficient way to keep up with trends in legal technology, as well as the doings of vendors, competitors, and collaborators, and can very well be a source of inspiration for some strategic thinking for your firm.
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication. An RSS news feed reader aggregates all the content that is published by the sources of your choosing. It is used by websites that frequently publish new content, such as blogs and online newspapers and magazines. The publisher effectively syndicates its content, informing subscribers of new content automatically. The subscriber can eyeball all of the latest articles from several sources in one place.
A well-tailored RSS newsfeed provides a broad survey of the current relevant issues. The aggregator typically provides headlines and an introductory paragraph to the content of each article, allowing its reader to be generally familiar with the issues of the day with a quick perusal as well as links to the full articles. Glancing at your reader in the morning will let you know what’s happening that day in the industry and allow you to quickly hone in on articles that you’d like to read more closely, without searching through a website to find what you need.
I use Google reader, but there are many more reader options out there, including some that can integrate with Outlook. I also use Google Alerts, which lets me save a Google search and see when new content has been published on the Internet that references a term or phrase I’ve specified. For example, you can set up an alert for a term such as, “cloud computing,” or “Symantec,” and have all relevant news included in your reader.