RSS feeds pt. 1

(if you view this via rss there are more pics on the website. click “read more.”)

if you’ve read my other blog much you know that i love rss feeds. so i thought i’ve give a little tutorial on what rss is, why it’s so cool, and what you need to do to get it set up.

ok so we’ll start off with: what is RSS?

according to the help section of my browser of choice:
“Really Simple Syndication or “RSS” refers to an alternative way of viewing a webpage. The term RSS is used interchangeably with feed, news feed, RSS feed, and XML feed.”

ok, now in english. there’s many sites that are updated often with new content; such as blogs, news sites, and podcasts. rss is a way to be “notified” of only the new content.

how is this different than just going to the site or blog to see what’s new? well . . . in a good rss reader or “aggregator” as it’s called you can “subscribe” to multiple sites of the same nature and then view them all on one page.

so here’s an example. i have several friends that have blogs and that i like to keep up on. (see pic below)

now i could go through the trouble of visiting all 26 sites every day to see if anyone has written anything new or not. but that would waste a lot of time, since as you know, not everyone writes something everyday. 🙂 (guilty here too)

or . . . each of these sites also includes an rss feed so i can view ALL of the sites on one page with new content from any of them a the top of the page. (see below)

on this particular day there hasn’t been any new content since i last viewed it so all the blog names to the left of the article title are in grey. but on my “mac feeds” you’ll notice below that the new articles are in orange. (see below)

in fact i don’t even have to click on my “blog feeds” or “mac feeds” bookmark until there are new articles. when ever Safari is running it will check all those sites in the background to see if anything’s been added every half hour. and if there is it will show a number next to the bookmark as shown below.

notice the (33) by the mac feeds bookmark. and when clicked on it will show exactly which site has new content and how many.

so for me this is a great way to view content on the web. i’ll show in future posts exactly how to set it up, other neat things that can be done with it and some of the disadvantages. overall i hope it makes your “online” surfing a little easier.

and the best part is that since my rss reader of choice Safari is now available for Windows too, anyone can get started with rss. 🙂

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