What is RSS?
I am regularly asked this question and felt I should prepare a more detailed response that you can read at your leisure.
Subscribing does not mean you’ll get any junk mail — I’ll never sell your address and you’ll only get updates from this site.
Millions around the world use RSS to keep track of their favorite websites. Many people bookmark websites and check them regularly to see if there are any updates; RSS readers do the checking for you and bring the content to you.
The problems with bookmarking
- You have to do all the work of finding updates.
- This can get complicated with many websites (I currently subscribe to 40+ feeds)
- Good information gets lost if you forget to check it.
- You may check sites many times and find there are no updates.
- You just don’t have time for it!
Say hello to RSS
One of the world’s greatest inventions… the paperboy… wait… the paper… person(?) brings news to you, so you don’t have to leave your house to get the paper. RSS is the paperperson of the internet…
There’s no need to get too technical, RSS brings the latest articles from your favorite websites directly to you. Lets look at a screenshot of my Google Reader to see how this looks…
What do I need?
As you can see from the above screenshot, all of my favorite websites are listed on the left, and every time they post a new article, a number next to the title increases until I read them in the right hand pane. If you are familiar with e-mail, you will have no problems getting used to this system.
I recommend using Google Reader or Bloglines. I use Google Reader as it’s simple and I use Gmail for my e-mail management. The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and give it a go. Both have useful help sections to get you up and running.
How do I subscribe?
All good internet browsers let you subscribe to RSS feeds by clicking the feed button (see the pictures below) and choosing your reader. Look out for the orange RSS icon on your favorite sites; this will usually show up somewhere in the address bar.
Example using Firefox and Google Reader
I use Firefox and Google Reader, I recommend you do too (you will need to sign up for a Gmail account if you don’t already have one.)
1. Look up to the address bar and click the Orange Icon
2. Now select Google in the drop down list and press subscribe. You’re done!
Too complicated - Can I just Use E-mail?
Cast your eyes to the top right of this page… enter your e-mail into the box and hit subscribe. I’ll then check if you’re human and you’ll receive a daily e-mail with all my new posts.
I have more questions
Contact me here and I’ll get back to you shortly.