Why bother with RSS?

(cut-n-pasted from my reply to a “Business of Software” forum question)

I resisted using an RSS reader for quite a while, mainly because it was “the new hotness” that I didn’t see any use for.

What made me start using it?

I read a fair number of websites, and I like to know when something new shows up. So I used to check each website every day and scan it for new content. Slashdot. Anything new? Yup, read a couple. Joel on Software. Anything new? No. Paul Graham’s rants. Anything new? No. Steve Yegge. Anything new? Yes, read it. You get the point.

The “load page – see if anything new” loop was getting tedious, especially since frequently there was nothing new to read, so loading the page was a waste of time.

Enter RSS. I chose NewsGator Online, subscribed to the websites/blogs I like, and *bam* – all the new content comes right to me, only one website (NewsGator) to load, no wasted time.

Well, unless you count the time I spend reading stuff on the web as wasted time, which might be accurate.