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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 Thu. December / 05 / 2019

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

Clomid vs herbs - Ttc clomid blog - Fertility diet menu uk - Laughlin Entertainer
Clomid vs herbs - Ttc clomid blog - Fertility diet menu uk  Laughlin Entertainer

Expired viagra - Side effects of expired viagra - Best place to buy viagra online reddit - Laughlin Entertainer
Expired viagra - Side effects of expired viagra - Best place to buy viagra online reddit  Laughlin Entertainer

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

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

Is there a generic combivent - What is the drug combivent used for - What is combivent respimat prescribed for - Laughlin Entertainer
Is there a generic combivent - What is the drug combivent used for - What is combivent respimat prescribed for  Laughlin Entertainer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century - Economic Times
The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century  Economic Times

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

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

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

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

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

17 Non-Negotiable Skills for Blog Writers in Any Business - Search Engine Journal
17 Non-Negotiable Skills for Blog Writers in Any Business  Search Engine Journal

“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

9 Ways to Evaluate Guest Posting & Blog Outreach Services - Search Engine Journal
9 Ways to Evaluate Guest Posting & Blog Outreach Services  Search Engine Journal

Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta - Duke Today
Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta  Duke Today

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid These 5 Blog Strategy & Creation Mistakes - Search Engine Journal
Avoid These 5 Blog Strategy & Creation Mistakes  Search Engine Journal

How to Use Guest Blogging for Natural Link Building - Search Engine Journal
How to Use Guest Blogging for Natural Link Building  Search Engine Journal

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

'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

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

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

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

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

'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

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

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity UI: The Guru's UI Development Diagram - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity UI: The Guru's UI Development Diagram  Gamasutra

Blog or Podcast: What Best Helps the Entrepreneur? - Business 2 Community
Blog or Podcast: What Best Helps the Entrepreneur?  Business 2 Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herman Tulleken's Blog - Four Decades of Advergames - Gamasutra
Herman Tulleken's Blog - Four Decades of Advergames  Gamasutra

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

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity Addressables: The Final Quiz Analysis - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity Addressables: The Final Quiz Analysis  Gamasutra

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

James Margaris's Blog - Why Artifact Failed - Gamasutra
James Margaris's Blog - Why Artifact Failed  Gamasutra

Get More Traffic Now: 5 Secrets of the Most Popular Blogs - Search Engine Journal
Get More Traffic Now: 5 Secrets of the Most Popular Blogs  Search Engine Journal

A 3D View of How We Got Here - Gamasutra
A 3D View of How We Got Here  Gamasutra

6 Reasons Your Ecommerce Site Needs a Blog Booster Shot - Search Engine Journal
6 Reasons Your Ecommerce Site Needs a Blog Booster Shot  Search Engine Journal

Furore over languages: National Education Policy is an excellent document which needs encouragement, not politics - Economic Times
Furore over languages: National Education Policy is an excellent document which needs encouragement, not politics  Economic Times

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

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

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

That Outrageous Mommy Blogger Who Refuses to Stop Writing About Her Kid Highlights a Key Parent-Child Generational Gap - Slate
That Outrageous Mommy Blogger Who Refuses to Stop Writing About Her Kid Highlights a Key Parent-Child Generational Gap  Slate

Huffpost UK closes blog platform, launching opinion and personal sections - Press Gazette
Huffpost UK closes blog platform, launching opinion and personal sections  Press Gazette

Jamin Smith's Blog - The Big Game Branding 101 - Gamasutra
Jamin Smith's Blog - The Big Game Branding 101  Gamasutra

Ricardo Cuello's Blog - Music for Video Games: The Plan - Gamasutra
Ricardo Cuello's Blog - Music for Video Games: The Plan  Gamasutra

A Response to Cliffski's 10 Tips to 10X Your Indie Game Development Process - Gamasutra
A Response to Cliffski's 10 Tips to 10X Your Indie Game Development Process  Gamasutra

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

This Diwali, let Ram's spirit bring out best in Hindus - Economic Times
This Diwali, let Ram's spirit bring out best in Hindus  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

97-year-old Seattle blogger shares honest view on aging - KING5.com
97-year-old Seattle blogger shares honest view on aging  KING5.com

Creature in the Well Development with Bohdon Sayre - Gamasutra
Creature in the Well Development with Bohdon Sayre  Gamasutra

3 Strategies to Grow Gamers' Loyalty and Retention Rate - Gamasutra
3 Strategies to Grow Gamers' Loyalty and Retention Rate  Gamasutra

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

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

Survey Reveals 56% of Bloggers Get Better Results by Spending 6 Hours on a Post - Small Business Trends
Survey Reveals 56% of Bloggers Get Better Results by Spending 6 Hours on a Post  Small Business Trends

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

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 Squarespace templates 2019: Top picks for video, blogs, and more - Mashable
Best Squarespace templates 2019: Top picks for video, blogs, and more  Mashable

How to Make a Casual Mobile Game: Uprising - Project Structure - Gamasutra
How to Make a Casual Mobile Game: Uprising - Project Structure  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

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

5 Social Media Blogs That You Need To Know About In 2019 - Forbes
5 Social Media Blogs That You Need To Know About In 2019  Forbes

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

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

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

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

Which are the most commonly used Game Engines? - Gamasutra
Which are the most commonly used Game Engines?  Gamasutra

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

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

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - 3 Ways Unity Addressables Will Save Your Game - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - 3 Ways Unity Addressables Will Save Your Game  Gamasutra

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

Chris Zukowski's Blog - The best slides I saw at GDC 2019 - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - The best slides I saw at GDC 2019  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

Supreme Court scholars’ new paper sparks debate over influence of blogs, podcasts - Reuters
Supreme Court scholars’ new paper sparks debate over influence of blogs, podcasts  Reuters

Stanislav Costiuc's Blog - How I found my style on YouTube - Gamasutra
Stanislav Costiuc's Blog - How I found my style on YouTube  Gamasutra

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