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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. August / 12 / 2020

Automated RSS Feed Content Generation Set-And-Forget Marketing Tool Launched - Newswire
Automated RSS Feed Content Generation Set-And-Forget Marketing Tool Launched  Newswire

Brandy looks to collaborate with Drake - Music News
Brandy looks to collaborate with Drake  Music News

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

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

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

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

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

Member manager sought for YALSA's blog, The Hub - ala.org
Member manager sought for YALSA's blog, The Hub  ala.org

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogs - LexBlog
Blogs  LexBlog

Why Modi must not repeat Nehru’s mistakes on China - The Times of India Blog
Why Modi must not repeat Nehru’s mistakes on China  The Times of India Blog

‘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

#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

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

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

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

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

The two ‘big boys’ in Modi’s cabinet - The Times of India Blog
The two ‘big boys’ in Modi’s cabinet  The Times of India Blog

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

Byrd's New Nest | Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot Mcknight - ChristianityToday.com
Byrd's New Nest | Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot Mcknight  ChristianityToday.com

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

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

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

Best free blogging site of 2020 - TechRadar
Best free blogging site of 2020  TechRadar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get Started Now With Performance Optimization — Learning Resources for Unity Addressables 2020+ - Gamasutra
Get Started Now With Performance Optimization — Learning Resources for Unity Addressables 2020+  Gamasutra

Resetting India’s ties with China: The Ladakh intrusion is an outcome of Beijing’s ambitions and insecurit - Times of India
Resetting India’s ties with China: The Ladakh intrusion is an outcome of Beijing’s ambitions and insecurit  Times of India

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

China’s back-stabbing! - Times of India
China’s back-stabbing!  Times of India

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

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

Dear Food Bloggers: Stop Yammering And Give Me The Dang Recipe - The Federalist
Dear Food Bloggers: Stop Yammering And Give Me The Dang Recipe  The Federalist

Not the End of the Chase - Scientific American
Not the End of the Chase  Scientific American

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

‘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

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

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

Misogyny hits gold: Crime is crime. Gender shouldn’t matter - The Times of India Blog
Misogyny hits gold: Crime is crime. Gender shouldn’t matter  The Times of India Blog

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

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

10 new commandments, with the aid of one Virgin Mary, and two bloody ones - Times of India
10 new commandments, with the aid of one Virgin Mary, and two bloody ones  Times of India

Web 100: Best law blogs - ABA Journal
Web 100: Best law blogs  ABA Journal

Why Did Rahul Gandhi sign a party to party MOU with the CCP? - The Times of India Blog
Why Did Rahul Gandhi sign a party to party MOU with the CCP?  The Times of India Blog

Tour of Duty – An analysis - Times of India
Tour of Duty – An analysis  Times of India

Don't Expect the PS5 or Xbox Series X to Officially Launch in China Any Time Soon - Here's Why... - Gamasutra
Don't Expect the PS5 or Xbox Series X to Officially Launch in China Any Time Soon - Here's Why...  Gamasutra

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

On China trade sanctions: India can serve its national security much better by rapidly expanding its economy - The Times of India Blog
On China trade sanctions: India can serve its national security much better by rapidly expanding its economy  The Times of India Blog

Burak Tezateser's Blog - Steam has a lack of data scientists - Gamasutra
Burak Tezateser's Blog - Steam has a lack of data scientists  Gamasutra

Despite past Congressional action on insider trading, Senators' stock trades are still business as usual - USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)
Despite past Congressional action on insider trading, Senators' stock trades are still business as usual  USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

Palghar lynching: Who killed Sadhus & why? - Times of India
Palghar lynching: Who killed Sadhus & why?  Times of India

Pak information war against India demands counter strategy - Times of India
Pak information war against India demands counter strategy  Times of India

My views, my events: Zoho Chief Vembu asserts after tweet rage over RSS event - Economic Times
My views, my events: Zoho Chief Vembu asserts after tweet rage over RSS event  Economic Times

The Very Real and Dangerous Risk of Pricing Games at $70 - Gamasutra
The Very Real and Dangerous Risk of Pricing Games at $70  Gamasutra

A passage to Pakistan: Indians may have a distorted view of their neighbour, but Pakistanis don’t quite get - Times of India
A passage to Pakistan: Indians may have a distorted view of their neighbour, but Pakistanis don’t quite get  Times of India

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

How to Build Your App without Any Programming Knowledge? - WhaTech Technology and Markets News
How to Build Your App without Any Programming Knowledge?  WhaTech Technology and Markets News

Tristan Jung's Blog - How Do Bullets Work in Video Games? - Gamasutra
Tristan Jung's Blog - How Do Bullets Work in Video Games?  Gamasutra

Matcha Releases Low-Cost Software to Power Ecommerce Marketing with Content - PRNewswire
Matcha Releases Low-Cost Software to Power Ecommerce Marketing with Content  PRNewswire

How to beat a populist: Boris Johnson offers clues on how traditional political elites can adapt to the age of - Times of India
How to beat a populist: Boris Johnson offers clues on how traditional political elites can adapt to the age of  Times of India

GameMaker Studio's Blog - Utilizing 3D Cameras in 2D Games - Gamasutra
GameMaker Studio's Blog - Utilizing 3D Cameras in 2D Games  Gamasutra

Fighting back economically against Chinese aggression: Why attempts to restrict Chinese imports may backfire - The Times of India Blog
Fighting back economically against Chinese aggression: Why attempts to restrict Chinese imports may backfire  The Times of India Blog

The how and the why of law blogs - ABA Journal
The how and the why of law blogs  ABA Journal

Is there any possibility of Hindu-Muslim reconciliation? - Times of India
Is there any possibility of Hindu-Muslim reconciliation?  Times of India

Time to call out Hindutva: Democratic India was founded on freedom, but the two nation theory is diametrically - Times of India
Time to call out Hindutva: Democratic India was founded on freedom, but the two nation theory is diametrically  Times of India

Best blogging platforms of 2020 - TechRadar
Best blogging platforms of 2020  TechRadar

Liberalism is alive, but what about ‘liberal’ parties? - Times of India
Liberalism is alive, but what about ‘liberal’ parties?  Times of India

How do we improve resource harvesting in Real Time Strategy games? - Gamasutra
How do we improve resource harvesting in Real Time Strategy games?  Gamasutra

South China Sea: urgent need for coordinated strategy to contain China - Times of India
South China Sea: urgent need for coordinated strategy to contain China  Times of India

What is Mr Modi’s plan for India’s Muslims? - Times of India
What is Mr Modi’s plan for India’s Muslims?  Times of India

Is Bollywood espousing causes opportunistically? - Times of India
Is Bollywood espousing causes opportunistically?  Times of India

Shein, Club Factory, Chinese Apps Ban: For Fashion Bloggers, What Comes Next? - Gadgets 360
Shein, Club Factory, Chinese Apps Ban: For Fashion Bloggers, What Comes Next?  Gadgets 360

Teacher wellbeing & self-care in Covid times - The Times of India Blog
Teacher wellbeing & self-care in Covid times  The Times of India Blog

Do You Like C# Value Types? Here's How to Apply C# 7.0 Ref Locals & Returns - Gamasutra
Do You Like C# Value Types? Here's How to Apply C# 7.0 Ref Locals & Returns  Gamasutra

Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview - Times of India
Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview  Times of India

Sowing seeds of division: Muscular politics may yield short term electoral dividend, but it hurts India’s fu - Times of India
Sowing seeds of division: Muscular politics may yield short term electoral dividend, but it hurts India’s fu  Times of India

Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

How BJP is fast becoming like Congress in graft - Times of India
How BJP is fast becoming like Congress in graft  Times of India

Charitable trusts must not exert corporate control - Times of India
Charitable trusts must not exert corporate control  Times of India

'The Voice' Results Live Blog! Who's In and Who's Out? - Extra
'The Voice' Results Live Blog! Who's In and Who's Out?  Extra

Indians complaining to the OIC are putting the Ummah above the Constitution - Times of India
Indians complaining to the OIC are putting the Ummah above the Constitution  Times of India

SEO Critique of 3 Ecommerce Blogs - Practical Ecommerce
SEO Critique of 3 Ecommerce Blogs  Practical Ecommerce

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