Apr 27 2009
By: Jon Gales
A large number of sites (including MacMerc) publish content in an XML format
called RSS. For more info on what RSS is, check out an article I wrote awhile
ago. This week I am getting down & dirty with my favorite RSS reader—NetNewsWire.
I have a lot of subscriptions, and typically pick up a few a week (I drop others
so my total stays pretty constant). Here’s how to subscribe to a site in just
a few seconds.
- If you know the site has a feed (MacMinute.com
for example), just click on the Favicon in either Safari or Camino
- If you aren’t sure, check around for a link to it. When you find it, click
- In any event, go to the Services
menu and look for "Subscribe in NetNewsWire".
If this is at all confusing, Brent Simmons posted
a video of it a while back on his weblog.
shared this technique over on my weblog, but I bet it’s still new for a
few of you. Now that you can subscribe with a few clicks, you’re probably going
to get some clutter. Here’s how I manage my many (pushing 120) subscriptions:
- All subscriptions should be in groups (AKA folders).
- You can make a new folder by going to Subscriptions>New Group.
- Make a group called "incubator".
- All new subscriptions go here.
- Keep them here for a few weeks just to make sure they are good stuff.
- Once you know you like the feed, put it in the best available group
(or make a new one).
Its got search!
One of the complaints I have heard of NetNewsWire is that it doesn’t
have a way to search… Try command-f. If you are using NetNewsWire Lite, you’re
going to think I am full of crap (and you’re probably right). Go buy the real
It’s a pretty basic search… Lacks things like "Find All" and regular
expression matching, but it is pretty useful. It has saved me from going to
Feedster on more than one occasion.
NetNewsWire has a lot of semi-hidden commands… Here are a few of my favorites:
- Space – skips to the next unread item. Really handy when you just want to
motor through the news.
- U – marks selection as unread. Handy if the item is something you know you
want to read later.
- Option-DockClick – Opens up the item in NetNewsWire instead of the browser.
Great for feeds you know are full text.
- Command-b – Select some text in the weblog editor and run the command, it
wraps <strong> tags around the selection. Makes for some fast XHTML..
Make your site play nice
Want to know how NetNewsWire can pick up feeds automatically (when
given the main URL)? Meta data. If you run a site that either has a feed you
should use the tag below to help your readers out. (It goes in the HEAD)
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS"
You’d be surprised how much that helps. If you want to get really tricky, tuck
in a link tag that points to an RSD (really simple discovery) file. That file
gives NetNewsWire instructions on how to configure the Weblog Editor. It’s quite
amazing to watch it configure itself. If you want to learn more about RSD, check
out its homepage.
If you aren’t subscribed to our feed, it’s located here.
If you just downloaded NetNewsWire, don’t worry—we’re on the default list