RSSToolbar for Quick Feed Reading in Firefox

I know that there are lots of applications out there for people who want to read dozens and dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of RSS feeds. But I also know that there are people who might want to read only a few feeds, or who want to keep up with some feeds without going through the trouble of managing a full-fledged RSS reader.

If you fall into the second camp and want a quick-n-easy way to read RSS feeds in Firefox, check out RSSToolbar at (The toolbar is also available for Internet Explorer, but I tested it in Firefox.)

RSSToolbar is a Firefox extension, so start by agreeing to the (actually readable) privacy policy, installing the extension, and rebooting your browser. Once that’s done you’ll have a new toolbar on your browser, but it won’t be useful until you create an account with RSSToolbar. (The account requires an e-mail address and password.) You’ll have to confirm and activate your account. Once you’ve done that you’ll be taken to a configuration page.

The toolbar already has a bunch of RSS feeds activated. (Hey, including ResearchBuzz!) There are delete links for any feeds you don’t care for, with a box to add your own RSS feeds. You can choose how many items from a feed you want to display (default is 99) and what color you want the display to be. There’s also an option called “Automatically scroll my RSS feeds every x second(s).” The default is 0 which means that the feeds don’t scroll, but when I tried to reset this option it didn’t seem to do anything. (Update: You have to have the scroll setting above 10 seconds in order for it to function.) Once you’ve gotten the feeds set up the way you want, check the toolbar at the top of your browser.

Using RSSToolbar Both the feed source and feed items appear in pulldown menus in a toolbar on your browser. You can scroll the various feed items to review what’s available. To access a feed item, scroll to it and then click on the bar icon. This’ll take you straight to the source page. (A little gear icon next to that takes you to an options page for RSSToolbar.)

This is not a tool to use if you have dozens or hundreds or RSS feeds you want to monitor. However if there are some feeds you want to casually monitor, you don’t have lots of feeds you want to read, or you just need a little “surfing inspiration”, this is a nifty tool. Publishers, if you’d like to add an RSSToolbar chicklet to your site, check out

Categories: News