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RSS & How to Use It (part 1)


Have you ever read an article, intended to explain RSS in simple terms that, begins well, but soon descends into confusing jargon or information overload?

If so, take heart, I was in the same place a few months ago.

Often the best way to understand something, is to use it. RSS is no exception.

So rather than try and create a definitive explanation of RSS, this article will tell you how to use it. I guarantee once you've done so, everything will that much clearer.

If a website you visit utilizes RSS, there are a number of ways it will communicate this.

The most common way is to show a little orange button with the letters XML.

Alternatively, you may see words such as "ATOM", "RSS", "Site Feed" or variations on these.

What they have in common is that they will link to a webpage that, in most browsers, looks like gibberish.

It doesn't matter one way or another, what is important is the address of the web page they link to.

To demonstrate, I will relate how to read a site feed for my website, The Nettle Blog. Don't confuse RSS with blogs (web logs). They are two separate concepts. The only reason you see them together so often, is that blogs are the perfect website to take advantage of site feeds. More on that later. Here we go?

Click on this link to go the site feed for The Nettle Blog. Ignore the content in the window, just make a note of the URL in the web address bar. It should read: http://feeds.feedburner.com/thenettle

Now you've got the web address for the site feed, keep it safe somewhere. You'll need it again in a moment.

The next step is to use an RSS reader to make sense of the site feed. There are lots of these available and if you are a heavy user you would probably want to purchase a nice piece of software.

But to begin with, start with something simple and free. Start with Bloglines.

Go to www.bloglines.com/register/ and create a new account.

From the "My Feeds" section of your account you can add new site feeds you want to keep track of.

Select "ADD", enter the URL you copied and hit "Subscribe". You can preview the results, but skip that stage for now. Select "Subscribe" again and the title of the site feed will be transferred to the left-hand window.

Well done. You have now subscribed to your first RSS feed.

To read it just click on the title and you can view all the messages in that feed within a selected time period. The feed will most likely record news related to the website the feed belongs to.

In this instance, the site feed to The Nettle Blog records each new entry to my blog. If you find something of interest, most entries have a clickable link you can follow.

Anytime you find a website you like with a site feed, make a note of the URL for that site feed and add it to your Bloglines folder.

Now comes the clever bit.

In the left-hand column of your account is an "Extras" list. Select Download Notifier and choose the correct file to download the Bloglines Notifier This file is only 100k so any half-decent connection should complete the download in just a few seconds.

If the download is successful, you should see a small, blue icon with the letter "B". Double-clicking it will short-cut you to Bloglines.

Right-click on the icon and you can adjust the settings. Specify how often you want Bloglines to check messages for you.

When Bloglines checks your site feeds and finds that one or more have been updated, a little chime will play and the Bloglines icon will show a little red marker. This means one of the feeds you have subscribed to has something new to say.

So there you have it. A spam-free, hassle-free way to keep track of websites you have an interest in. Providing of course, that they have a site feed. If they don't, ask them why not.

Part two of this article will show webmaster and ezine publishers how they can easily publish a site feed for their website and track the visitors, free of charge.

David Congreave is owner of The Nettle Ezine, the newsletter for the home business -- online.

David lives in Leeds, in the United Kingdom with his wife Leanne.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Wed. November / 20 / 2019

What Happened to Tagging? - JSTOR Daily
What Happened to Tagging?  JSTOR Daily

Why you should start a podcast soon - Quartz
Why you should start a podcast soon  Quartz

Red viagra video - Are expired viagra pills safe - Reddit viagra - Laughlin Entertainer
Red viagra video - Are expired viagra pills safe - Reddit viagra  Laughlin Entertainer

Kamagra 50mg - Kamagra order uk - αγορα καμαγρα - Laughlin Entertainer
Kamagra 50mg - Kamagra order uk - αγορα καμαγρα  Laughlin Entertainer

Proventil long term effects - Proventil coupon card - Proventil hfa fda - Laughlin Entertainer
Proventil long term effects - Proventil coupon card - Proventil hfa fda  Laughlin Entertainer

HubSpot Marketing Hub Review & Rating - PCMag.com
HubSpot Marketing Hub Review & Rating  PCMag.com

The Rise and Demise of RSS - Motherboard
The Rise and Demise of RSS  Motherboard

Happy 25th year, blogging. You’ve grown up, but social media is still having a brawl - The Guardian
Happy 25th year, blogging. You’ve grown up, but social media is still having a brawl  The Guardian

Behind Blogging – Venues Are Slow To Utilize Blogs And Rss As Potential Marketing Tools - VenuesNow
Behind Blogging – Venues Are Slow To Utilize Blogs And Rss As Potential Marketing Tools  VenuesNow

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started) - G2
What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started)  G2

Shanna Desmond's family hopes for help to move from home where murder-suicide took place - CBC.ca
Shanna Desmond's family hopes for help to move from home where murder-suicide took place  CBC.ca

As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current - ZDNet
As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current  ZDNet

NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source - WP Tavern
NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source  WP Tavern

2019 Rugby World Cup live updates: England v South Africa - World Cup final - New Zealand Herald
2019 Rugby World Cup live updates: England v South Africa - World Cup final  New Zealand Herald

WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers? - ThomasNet News
WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers?  ThomasNet News

Track RSS Feeds (Yes RSS) with Feedly – ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Track RSS Feeds (Yes RSS) with Feedly – ProfHacker - Blogs  The Chronicle of Higher Education

My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing - Boing Boing
My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing  Boing Boing

Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu - Economic Times
Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu  Economic Times

Making it Easier than Ever to Integrate with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub and Azure Device Provisioning Service - Security Boulevard
Making it Easier than Ever to Integrate with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub and Azure Device Provisioning Service  Security Boulevard

'Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leadership' - Economic Times
'Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leadership'  Economic Times

Mohan Bhagwat, 6 Other RSS Functionaries Join Twitter - Outlook India
Mohan Bhagwat, 6 Other RSS Functionaries Join Twitter  Outlook India

Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - Economic Times
Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  Economic Times

Changes to Google Play's average ratings: what to expect and how to prepare - Gamasutra
Changes to Google Play's average ratings: what to expect and how to prepare  Gamasutra

Brandon Sheffield's Blog - Dreamcast 20th anniversary interview extravaganza - Gamasutra
Brandon Sheffield's Blog - Dreamcast 20th anniversary interview extravaganza  Gamasutra

Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview - Economic Times
Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview  Economic Times

A checklist: 5 steps toward better blogging | 2019-08-31 - grbj.com
A checklist: 5 steps toward better blogging | 2019-08-31  grbj.com

9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts - Search Engine Journal
9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts  Search Engine Journal

How to Get the Most Out of Discord - Gamasutra
How to Get the Most Out of Discord  Gamasutra

Making People Understand And Care About Your Game - Gamasutra
Making People Understand And Care About Your Game  Gamasutra

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them - Business 2 Community
RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

Bhaskar Rao- Salt of the earth - Economic Times
Bhaskar Rao- Salt of the earth  Economic Times

Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Write A Kickass Game Description - Gamasutra
Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Write A Kickass Game Description  Gamasutra

Kibbles 'n' Bits 2/6/19: I have seen the Snappening and it is an RSS feed - Comics Beat
Kibbles 'n' Bits 2/6/19: I have seen the Snappening and it is an RSS feed  Comics Beat

Nathan Savant's Blog - Region-Based Narrative - Gamasutra
Nathan Savant's Blog - Region-Based Narrative  Gamasutra

What is RSS? And Is It Still Important? - Small Business Trends
What is RSS? And Is It Still Important?  Small Business Trends

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging - Ars Technica
“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging  Ars Technica

Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots - Boing Boing
Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots  Boing Boing

Growing Your Blog Using Email Marketing - Business 2 Community
Growing Your Blog Using Email Marketing  Business 2 Community

Bob Whitaker's Blog - NASA Historian considers Kerbal Space Program - Gamasutra
Bob Whitaker's Blog - NASA Historian considers Kerbal Space Program  Gamasutra

When Chidambaram was home minister and Narendra Modi & Amit Shah faced probes - Economic Times
When Chidambaram was home minister and Narendra Modi & Amit Shah faced probes  Economic Times

Josh Ge's Blog - Rebranding Difficulty Modes - Gamasutra
Josh Ge's Blog - Rebranding Difficulty Modes  Gamasutra

The 10 Most Important SEO Strategies For Your WordPress Blog in 2019 - Forbes
The 10 Most Important SEO Strategies For Your WordPress Blog in 2019  Forbes

Victoria Tran's Blog - Fashion in Games: Why It Matters - Gamasutra
Victoria Tran's Blog - Fashion in Games: Why It Matters  Gamasutra

Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap - Gamasutra
Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap  Gamasutra

Pascal Luban's Blog - Mario Kart Tour: Gameplay: 1 - Onboarding: 0 - Gamasutra
Pascal Luban's Blog - Mario Kart Tour: Gameplay: 1 - Onboarding: 0  Gamasutra

On surviving Yahoo Pipes, Feedburner futures, and the subscription web - Diginomica
On surviving Yahoo Pipes, Feedburner futures, and the subscription web  Diginomica

No lynching please: Instead of coming out guns blazing against lynching, Bhagwat tangles himself in semantics - Economic Times
No lynching please: Instead of coming out guns blazing against lynching, Bhagwat tangles himself in semantics  Economic Times

Tumblr once sold for $1.1 billion. The owner of WordPress just bought the site for a fraction of that. - Houston Chronicle
Tumblr once sold for $1.1 billion. The owner of WordPress just bought the site for a fraction of that.  Houston Chronicle

Max Pears's Blog - Level Design for Combat - Gamasutra
Max Pears's Blog - Level Design for Combat  Gamasutra

Joris Dormans's Blog - Unexplored 2 Dev Blog: Tiles to Curves - Gamasutra
Joris Dormans's Blog - Unexplored 2 Dev Blog: Tiles to Curves  Gamasutra

Josh Bycer's Blog - Pursuing Playability Part 1 -- Quality of Life - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - Pursuing Playability Part 1 -- Quality of Life  Gamasutra

A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed - Business 2 Community
A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed  Business 2 Community

The simple most difficult challenge of bringing Frostpunk to consoles - Gamasutra
The simple most difficult challenge of bringing Frostpunk to consoles  Gamasutra

Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How Much Does Game Localization Cost? - Gamasutra
Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How Much Does Game Localization Cost?  Gamasutra

'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing - EurekAlert
'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing  EurekAlert

Iuliana U's Blog - Crowdfunding Without A Graphic Designer - Gamasutra
Iuliana U's Blog - Crowdfunding Without A Graphic Designer  Gamasutra

Modi's money pitch: To make investors come to India, focus relentlessly on economic competitiveness - Economic Times
Modi's money pitch: To make investors come to India, focus relentlessly on economic competitiveness  Economic Times

Imran Khan – Extremist politician or moderate cricketer? - Economic Times
Imran Khan – Extremist politician or moderate cricketer?  Economic Times

Uncommon Blogging Tactics Are Highly Effective, New Study Shows - Search Engine Journal
Uncommon Blogging Tactics Are Highly Effective, New Study Shows  Search Engine Journal

Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

Evgeny Dyabin's Blog - Cascadeur: character's pose prediction using 6 points - Gamasutra
Evgeny Dyabin's Blog - Cascadeur: character's pose prediction using 6 points  Gamasutra

James Smith's Blog - Who's more popular: Mario or Brad Pitt? - Gamasutra
James Smith's Blog - Who's more popular: Mario or Brad Pitt?  Gamasutra

Rohit Sharma: The art of scoring runs with laziness and effortlessness - Economic Times
Rohit Sharma: The art of scoring runs with laziness and effortlessness  Economic Times

Inside the process of creating the score for Temtem: adaptive music. - Gamasutra
Inside the process of creating the score for Temtem: adaptive music.  Gamasutra

An enigma called Rahul Gandhi - Economic Times
An enigma called Rahul Gandhi  Economic Times

Admiring the Game Design in Hyper-Casual Games - Gamasutra
Admiring the Game Design in Hyper-Casual Games  Gamasutra

Josh Bycer's Blog - The Reality of Game Development - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - The Reality of Game Development  Gamasutra

Jeremy Alessi's Blog - PixelCast 7, Pixels, Bears, and Sacrilegious Santa... - Gamasutra
Jeremy Alessi's Blog - PixelCast 7, Pixels, Bears, and Sacrilegious Santa...  Gamasutra

My Roblox Years: Dungeon Life and New Product Science - Gamasutra
My Roblox Years: Dungeon Life and New Product Science  Gamasutra

Claire Sh's Blog - I don't hate social media... - Gamasutra
Claire Sh's Blog - I don't hate social media...  Gamasutra

Catherine Fox's Blog - Beyond A Steel Sky - Dev Diary #2 - Gamasutra
Catherine Fox's Blog - Beyond A Steel Sky - Dev Diary #2  Gamasutra

The age of Hinduness: Modi has disavowed hard Hindutva for the humanism of 'Hinduness' - Economic Times
The age of Hinduness: Modi has disavowed hard Hindutva for the humanism of 'Hinduness'  Economic Times

Is AYUSH killing Ayurveda through BAMS curriculum? - Economic Times
Is AYUSH killing Ayurveda through BAMS curriculum?  Economic Times

Gafgar Davallius's Blog - Satisfactory: Network Optimizations - Gamasutra
Gafgar Davallius's Blog - Satisfactory: Network Optimizations  Gamasutra

Beto O’Rourke is blogging about the fog and blackberry cobbler. But is he running for president? - Washington Post
Beto O’Rourke is blogging about the fog and blackberry cobbler. But is he running for president?  Washington Post

Words as weapons of violence- none can beat the seculars - Economic Times
Words as weapons of violence- none can beat the seculars  Economic Times

Nadya Primak's Blog - Is a Game Development Degree Worth it? - Gamasutra
Nadya Primak's Blog - Is a Game Development Degree Worth it?  Gamasutra

Brad Wardell's Blog - Living with Vulkan and DirectX 12 - Gamasutra
Brad Wardell's Blog - Living with Vulkan and DirectX 12  Gamasutra

2 women show us the power of personal choice - Economic Times
2 women show us the power of personal choice  Economic Times

Josh Bycer's Blog - How Onboarding Should be Applied to Tutorials - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - How Onboarding Should be Applied to Tutorials  Gamasutra

The Trump Modi tango: How the PM used Houston event to tactfully reset the India-US relationship - Economic Times
The Trump Modi tango: How the PM used Houston event to tactfully reset the India-US relationship  Economic Times

Modi's Guruvayur doctrine divides nation on geographical & religious grounds - Times of India
Modi's Guruvayur doctrine divides nation on geographical & religious grounds  Times of India

Want to Boost Your Game's ROI? Tap Into Your Community - Gamasutra
Want to Boost Your Game's ROI? Tap Into Your Community  Gamasutra

Happy 14th Blogiversary To Ann Althouse! - Outside The Beltway - Mobile Edition
Happy 14th Blogiversary To Ann Althouse!  Outside The Beltway - Mobile Edition

Ahmed Khalifa's Blog - Level Design Patterns in 2D Games - Gamasutra
Ahmed Khalifa's Blog - Level Design Patterns in 2D Games  Gamasutra

With the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, a historical blunder is corrected in Jammu and Kashmir - Economic Times
With the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, a historical blunder is corrected in Jammu and Kashmir  Economic Times

Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress, and procedurally generated story telling - Gamasutra
Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress, and procedurally generated story telling  Gamasutra

California's AB5 Labor Bill Will Greatly Affect Game Companies - Gamasutra
California's AB5 Labor Bill Will Greatly Affect Game Companies  Gamasutra

Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message - The New York Times
Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message  The New York Times

Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements - Science 2.0
Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements  Science 2.0

RSS chief's Hindutva motto seems to be: Down with lynching, long live vadh - COUNTERVIEW
RSS chief's Hindutva motto seems to be: Down with lynching, long live vadh  COUNTERVIEW

BJP's Pakistan conundrum - Economic Times
BJP's Pakistan conundrum  Economic Times

What matters more in academia: scholarship, or untrammelled fealty? The curious case of 're-evaluating' Romila Thapar - Times of India
What matters more in academia: scholarship, or untrammelled fealty? The curious case of 're-evaluating' Romila Thapar  Times of India

Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Crowdfunding and Tabletop Games: 2019 Mid-Year Update - Gamasutra
Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Crowdfunding and Tabletop Games: 2019 Mid-Year Update  Gamasutra

Turkey Invades Syria: Conflict with Kurds won't help end the Syrian crisis - Economic Times
Turkey Invades Syria: Conflict with Kurds won't help end the Syrian crisis  Economic Times

In defence of Azam Khan - Economic Times
In defence of Azam Khan  Economic Times

Louis McTague's Blog - The Importance of Definitions in Game Design - Gamasutra
Louis McTague's Blog - The Importance of Definitions in Game Design  Gamasutra

Best blogging platforms of 2019 - TechRadar India
Best blogging platforms of 2019  TechRadar India

How Rahul Gandhi exposed himself to criticism in the last 3 days - Economic Times
How Rahul Gandhi exposed himself to criticism in the last 3 days  Economic Times

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