I love the fact that people play around with the functions of web 2.0 applications….mixing and matching, creating new combinations and ways of doing things…very much lateral thinking.
I’ve heard about this before but didn’t try it till recently…using Gmail as your RSS reader (you’d probably want to set up a seperate account if you have a lot of feeds).
How it works for me
- I went to Rmail (a service that delivers feed content into your email)
- I entered the RSS feed I want to track, and then I entered my email (gmail)
- Here is the trick, gmail enables you to use aliases (see 2 links below for more)
…and then I entered my email address with the name of the blog/feed as an alias
- Then click subscribe
- Now goto your gmail account and find the email from Rmail asking you to confirm the request
- Apply a label to this email, I used the blog/feed name, “howtosavetheworld”
- Then goto the top of gmail and click on “create a filter”
- In the “To:” field I entered the email alias address
- Then click on “Next step”
- Tick “Skip the Inbox”
- Tick “Apply the label:”, and choose the label you made earlier, “howtosavetheworld”
- Lastly click “Create filter”
Your filter should look something like this:
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “howtosavetheworld”
Now whenever that blog makes a post, Rmail gets the feed, changes it to email and sends it to me.
The gmail accepts it by filtering who it is sent to (this is where the alias does its thing) and then skips the inbox and deposits it in a label.
When this happens the label turns bold, alerting me of a new entry to read from that feed.
When I click on the label I can see the latest post titles of the in the subject line.
Choose a post or email from the subject line and you can read the contents of the post in the body of your email.
Once I have read it, the bold disappears, and the entry stays archived within that label…or you can label it otherwise, it’s up to you.
Searching through past entries is a breeze with gmail’s searching capabilities.
So there you have it, using Gmail as a basic level web-based RSS reader…what a great idea, and it’s not some half assed hack, it really works well.
Only basic feature missing is folders for your labels, ie. organising your feeds into folders.
NOTE: you could use the “From:” field as the filter, and enter “Rmail” as the value, but if you plan to subscribe to more than one feed via the Rmail service this won’t be a unique enought filter, that’s why the gmail alias is great.
Here are some posts about creating aliases with gmail:
Gmail + Aliases
How to use Gmail aliases to organise emails and handle spam