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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. July / 15 / 2020

How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify - Voices.com
How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify  Voices.com

RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism - Times of India
RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism  Times of India

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

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1  Times of India

Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs - PRNewswire
Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs  PRNewswire

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2  Times of India

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1  Times of India

A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Remembering Pete Buttigieg, Slate Blogger - Slate
Remembering Pete Buttigieg, Slate Blogger  Slate

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 3 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 3  Times of India

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century - Times of India
The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century  Times of India

Blogs still among our best information - Otago Daily Times
Blogs still among our best information  Otago Daily Times

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

Create an Engaging Legal Blog: Benefits of Law Blogs - The National Law Review
Create an Engaging Legal Blog: Benefits of Law Blogs  The National Law Review

They don’t hate JNU, they fear it: In absence of an articulate, united opposition, it’s our campuses that - Times of India
They don’t hate JNU, they fear it: In absence of an articulate, united opposition, it’s our campuses that  Times of India

Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance - Times of India
Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance  Times of India

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 4 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 4  Times of India

3-Step Blog Strategy That Works: Storytelling, USPs & Sales - Search Engine Journal
3-Step Blog Strategy That Works: Storytelling, USPs & Sales  Search Engine Journal

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

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations  Gamasutra

‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’ - Times of India
‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’  Times of India

Webster blogger refuses to let COVID-19 muffle her voice - Democrat & Chronicle
Webster blogger refuses to let COVID-19 muffle her voice  Democrat & Chronicle

Blogging Assistant PD Accused of Revealing Secrets of Little-Disguised Clients - ABA Journal
Blogging Assistant PD Accused of Revealing Secrets of Little-Disguised Clients  ABA Journal

Learn to make money by blogging with the help of this online training - Mashable
Learn to make money by blogging with the help of this online training  Mashable

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

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

Ghost blogging platform servers hacked and infected with crypto-miner - ZDNet
Ghost blogging platform servers hacked and infected with crypto-miner  ZDNet

2019 Saveur Blog Award Winners - Saveur
2019 Saveur Blog Award Winners  Saveur

9 Best Blogging Courses 2020 • Enroll Now • Benzinga - Benzinga
9 Best Blogging Courses 2020 • Enroll Now • Benzinga  Benzinga

Unleashing the power of your company blog - The Drum
Unleashing the power of your company blog  The Drum

Your Old Blog Content Is a Goldmine - CMSWire
Your Old Blog Content Is a Goldmine  CMSWire

#DalitLivesMatter: Why we don’t care about this hashtag - The Times of India Blog
#DalitLivesMatter: Why we don’t care about this hashtag  The Times of India Blog

Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO? - Practical Ecommerce
Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO?  Practical Ecommerce

The Last Root of Unity - Scientific American
The Last Root of Unity  Scientific American

Catholic bishop suspends priest and issues trespass order over blog about clergy sex abuse - Washington Post
Catholic bishop suspends priest and issues trespass order over blog about clergy sex abuse  Washington Post

Josh Bycer's Blog - Lessons Learned From Reviewing Indie Games - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - Lessons Learned From Reviewing Indie Games  Gamasutra

When Nehru put the ‘Constitution in danger’ - Times of India
When Nehru put the ‘Constitution in danger’  Times of India

How the Bodo Accord was accomplished, establishing a wider template for peace in the Northeast - Times of India
How the Bodo Accord was accomplished, establishing a wider template for peace in the Northeast  Times of India

Tales From Discoverabilityland: A Story Of Three Graphs - Gamasutra
Tales From Discoverabilityland: A Story Of Three Graphs  Gamasutra

Crystin Cox's Blog - Understanding LiveOps, Doing LiveOps - Gamasutra
Crystin Cox's Blog - Understanding LiveOps, Doing LiveOps  Gamasutra

Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Kickstarter and Games in 2019 - Gamasutra
Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Kickstarter and Games in 2019  Gamasutra

Andrew Haining's Blog - Outer Wilds critical analysis - Gamasutra
Andrew Haining's Blog - Outer Wilds critical analysis  Gamasutra

Game Devs, The World Needs You Right Now - Gamasutra
Game Devs, The World Needs You Right Now  Gamasutra

The saga of lockdown: India has shown extraordinary solidarity, forbearance and leadership skills - Times of India
The saga of lockdown: India has shown extraordinary solidarity, forbearance and leadership skills  Times of India

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Highlights of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020 - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Highlights of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020  Gamasutra

Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019 - Gamasutra
Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019  Gamasutra

Fabian Fischer's Blog - Reward Fatigue - Gamasutra
Fabian Fischer's Blog - Reward Fatigue  Gamasutra

This R-Day, let’s focus on India’s cultural greatness rather than military muscle - Times of India
This R-Day, let’s focus on India’s cultural greatness rather than military muscle  Times of India

Why Maria Wirth is Wrong - Times of India
Why Maria Wirth is Wrong  Times of India

Become the Beyonce of Legal Content with These Three Tips - JD Supra
Become the Beyonce of Legal Content with These Three Tips  JD Supra

Shutdowns kill people and biz, ease them fast - Times of India
Shutdowns kill people and biz, ease them fast  Times of India

Hang Line Postmortem Part 3 - Production data and tools used in development - Gamasutra
Hang Line Postmortem Part 3 - Production data and tools used in development  Gamasutra

My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American
My Own Personal Extinction  Scientific American

The right and wrong lessons of Shaheen Bagh - Times of India
The right and wrong lessons of Shaheen Bagh  Times of India

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Live Blogs What It's Like To Have COVID-19 - WLRN
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Live Blogs What It's Like To Have COVID-19  WLRN

5 brilliant blog topics - The Negotiator
5 brilliant blog topics  The Negotiator

Lessons and statistics after four years as an indie developer - Gamasutra
Lessons and statistics after four years as an indie developer  Gamasutra

In the darkness of the pandemic the kindnesses of Eid shine brighter than ever - Times of India
In the darkness of the pandemic the kindnesses of Eid shine brighter than ever  Times of India

Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta | Research Blog - Duke Today
Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta | Research Blog  Duke Today

Level Design Breakdown: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Trailer - Gamasutra
Level Design Breakdown: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Trailer  Gamasutra

Post Covid-19 education system - Times of India
Post Covid-19 education system  Times of India

India-Nepal border row: A tale of two streams - Times of India
India-Nepal border row: A tale of two streams  Times of India

Of macho men and broccoli cownundrums - Times of India
Of macho men and broccoli cownundrums  Times of India

Siddhartha Talya Blog - The Times of India Blog
Siddhartha Talya Blog  The Times of India Blog

Victoria Tran's Blog - The $0 Marketing Game Guide - Gamasutra
Victoria Tran's Blog - The $0 Marketing Game Guide  Gamasutra

Boost Ties with Taiwan: China can’t dictate terms for everyone in Asia - Times of India
Boost Ties with Taiwan: China can’t dictate terms for everyone in Asia  Times of India

Manufactured Dissent 2.0 - Times of India
Manufactured Dissent 2.0  Times of India

So many Buddhas: The Buddha one imagines tends to be filtered through the politics one prefers - Times of India
So many Buddhas: The Buddha one imagines tends to be filtered through the politics one prefers  Times of India

Ryan Sumo's Blog - Project Management in the Time of Covid-19 - Gamasutra
Ryan Sumo's Blog - Project Management in the Time of Covid-19  Gamasutra

Animal Crossing in the age of social distancing - Gamasutra
Animal Crossing in the age of social distancing  Gamasutra

Condemn the Tablighi Jamaat event, without having to resort to any whataboutery - Times of India
Condemn the Tablighi Jamaat event, without having to resort to any whataboutery  Times of India

When history gets interactive: Attentat 1942, Svoboda 1945 and historical research - Gamasutra
When history gets interactive: Attentat 1942, Svoboda 1945 and historical research  Gamasutra

Sweat Equity: Still blogging away on LGBTQ topics, but it's not big money - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sweat Equity: Still blogging away on LGBTQ topics, but it's not big money  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Emil Glans's Blog - On Monster Design - Gamasutra
Emil Glans's Blog - On Monster Design  Gamasutra

Impact of Coronavirus Epidemic to China's Game Industry - Gamasutra
Impact of Coronavirus Epidemic to China's Game Industry  Gamasutra

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

Bengal’s Amphan tragedy needs more national and global attention - Times of India
Bengal’s Amphan tragedy needs more national and global attention  Times of India

Close encounters of the carona kind - Times of India
Close encounters of the carona kind  Times of India

The curious case of Animal Crossing in China | Opinion - Gamasutra
The curious case of Animal Crossing in China | Opinion  Gamasutra

Parasite should embarrass Bollywood: The truth is that India is not making world class movies, and has not for - Times of India
Parasite should embarrass Bollywood: The truth is that India is not making world class movies, and has not for  Times of India

Coronavirus live blog: Wednesday, June 10th updates - North Country Public Radio
Coronavirus live blog: Wednesday, June 10th updates  North Country Public Radio

Neil Patel's Personal Blogging Advice and Why It Works? - Customer Think
Neil Patel's Personal Blogging Advice and Why It Works?  Customer Think

Seven ways to monetise your blog - Media Update
Seven ways to monetise your blog  Media Update

Alexandre Chaudret's Blog - Crafting Nightmares - Othercide's Art Direction - Gamasutra
Alexandre Chaudret's Blog - Crafting Nightmares - Othercide's Art Direction  Gamasutra

Kris Antoni Hadiputra's Blog - Decade Retrospective: Indonesian Games 2010-2020 - Gamasutra
Kris Antoni Hadiputra's Blog - Decade Retrospective: Indonesian Games 2010-2020  Gamasutra

Sebastian Long's Blog - Should Players Buy Their Own UI? - Gamasutra
Sebastian Long's Blog - Should Players Buy Their Own UI?  Gamasutra

How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis - The Washington Post
How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis  The Washington Post

How Congress and TMC are triggering a migrant crisis? - Times of India
How Congress and TMC are triggering a migrant crisis?  Times of India

How to Choose the Best Compression Mode for Your Addressable Groups - Gamasutra
How to Choose the Best Compression Mode for Your Addressable Groups  Gamasutra

The OIC Statement on Indian Muslims - Times of India
The OIC Statement on Indian Muslims  Times of India

Coronavirus and the media: In times of crisis, a democracy needs a free press more than ever - Times of India
Coronavirus and the media: In times of crisis, a democracy needs a free press more than ever  Times of India

Adapt to enable the new normal: Work from home - Times of India
Adapt to enable the new normal: Work from home  Times of India

‘Over 90% of India’s heritage lies buried and space archaeology can help unearth it … using satellites a - Times of India
‘Over 90% of India’s heritage lies buried and space archaeology can help unearth it … using satellites a  Times of India

Delhi 2020: Votes and bullets: A local election usually fought on civic issues is now marked by violence and i - Times of India
Delhi 2020: Votes and bullets: A local election usually fought on civic issues is now marked by violence and i  Times of India

Rosetta Stones Rolls On - Scientific American
Rosetta Stones Rolls On  Scientific American

‘The positive effect of coronavirus is customers will not put all eggs in the Chinese basket’ - Times of India
‘The positive effect of coronavirus is customers will not put all eggs in the Chinese basket’  Times of India

Top 4 Benefits for a Law Firm To Devise a Law Blog - GISuser.com
Top 4 Benefits for a Law Firm To Devise a Law Blog  GISuser.com

Let China invest. It gets us foreign policy leverage - Times of India
Let China invest. It gets us foreign policy leverage  Times of India

Where to look for ideas for hyper-casual games? - Gamasutra
Where to look for ideas for hyper-casual games?  Gamasutra

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