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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Learning More About RSS Feeds

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I recently set up my own iGoogle page to keep track of all my favorite blog pages. I soon learned how useful this was and wanted to share this with you. So what exactly is RSS? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. The point of signing up for RSS feeds is that you save time without having to visit each of your favorite sites individually! If there is a website you visit frequently and want to be informed of any new articles or blogs, or even videos and images, this is the best way to go. When you sign up for an RSS feed, you are immediately informed of when a page is updated through an RSS reader. It is like creating your own personalized newspaper of what you want to read.

First, I do need to stress that if you are using Internet Explorer 6, RSS feeds do not work properly or you are not able to sign up for them at all. Therefore, I suggest for you to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 or higher, or use Mozilla Firefox. You will need a reader to view your “newspaper”. Some of the most common free readers (also called “Content Aggregators”) are
Google Reader or News Gator Online. You can find plenty of other free readers by doing a simple search online. These allow for you to read all your feeds in one location. You can also receive alerts through email or your phone.

Once you have a reader, start going through your favorite websites to search for their web feeds. You may have for the most part already noticed an orange icon on websites, whereas others may just have a link that says something like ‘subscribe to our feed’. You would then either click on the icon to automatically add it to your reader (Google Reader is common on many sites), or you can right-click on it and select ‘Copy Shortcut’ or ‘Copy Link Location’ to copy the URL of the feed (to add to any feeder). Then you go to your feeder and find and then click on the icon that lets you add feeds. A small window should pop up to let you insert the URL of the feed you’d like to add, so you just paste it there. Once you’ve done that, you have just added a new feed to your reader!

Now that you’ve learned how to subscribe to an RSS feed, sign up for ours to keep yourself updated on any new blogs or materials we post for you! Subscribing is easy! Simply go to the bottom of page and and click on “Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)”. You have the following options: 1) Add to iGoogle (this is a free homepage you can create with a Gmail account) 2) Subscribe in Google Reader. Chose one or both of those options and start receiving our updates!

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