RSS 101 03.26.09
For those of you out there with no experience with RSS feeds/readers – here’s a quick RSS 101 for you. Some introductory definitions about what you’ll need:
- Favorite website(s) – any website you frequent (news/photoblogs/gadget sites/etc.).
- RSS – stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ – basically a quick way to stay up to date with all of your favorite websites, all in one place.
- RSS reader/aggregator – the gathering place (desktop app/widget/webpage) for all of the new posts or items from your favorite websites.
- Syndicate/Subscribe – to add a website to your reader/aggregator to receive the new posts.
With these points in mind you can transform a toolbar full of bookmarks into one simple webpage (or desktop/widget) that shows the new posts that you haven’t read yet. Since everyone and their mother (even my grandmother) has a Gmail account one of the simplest ways to get started is to simply go to http://reader.google.com and log in. Using this website (http://photo.tenharmsel.com/blog/) as an example – simply click on the “RSS Blog” link at the top and you will be automatically redirected to a page where you can choose to add the subscription to Google Reader. Simple as that – you’re good to go. As you read through posts they will be shown as having been viewed and as your favorite sites put up new posts they will magically automatically appear as unread items on your Google Reader page. So should you use RSS to get your news/photo-fix/etc. you will be saving precious time otherwise wasted clicking through to many different sites (that is, unless you just start subscribing to countless numbers of websites and spend endless hours reading about how to do some spring office cleaning and looking at photos of abandoned places). Enjoy!