One of the easiest ways to keep track of the news that is reported on the companies you’re following is to use RSS feeds. By using RSS you will no longer need to search through search engines and web pages to come across news for these companies. RSS makes it very easy to have the news filtered for you.
What is RSS?
RSS is an abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds are a text version of the content available on news sites, blogs, and forums that can be read by software that is specifically made to read RSS feeds. By subscribing to an RSS feed, you can aggregate the content of most of the sites you read daily and not have to actually visit the site every day.
If a site has an RSS feed available, you will see the icon below in the address bar of the Firefox browser or in the status bar of Internet Explorer.
How will I read RSS feeds?
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to use Google Reader as the feed reader which is browser-based. My suggestion is to make sure you’ve upgraded to Firefox 2.0 because the latest enhancements will make subscribing to RSS feeds even easier. Google Reader is not the most powerful or customizable feed reader available but Google provides this software for free and it will be sufficient for most people out there.
How do I create and subscribe to feeds?
Once you have your Google Reader account, you will need to find or set up the RSS feeds in order to receive the content. Since we’re focusing on finding news about our Big Moat companies we’ll start our search at Google News.
Because I’m interested in Fastenal, I’ll simply search for ‘fastenal’ and view the results. As you can see the first item is about Fastenal’s race-car sponsorship.
Since I don’t want this type of news included, I change my search string to ‘fastenal -racing -indy –hamilton’. Now the results are focused on the company itself.
If you look in the browser’s address bar, you’ll see the orange RSS icon. Click on this icon to bring up the subscription pane that’s pictured below.
Make sure Google Reader is selected in the drop-down box and click Subscribe Now to add the subscription to your feed reader.
This process can be repeated to create a separate RSS feed for each of the companies you are following.