Notes from a Laptop

December 7, 2007

RSS feeds – what does that mean?

Filed under: Blogs,RSS — Lindajay @ 7:11 pm

rssfeeds.jpgOnce you get into owning a blog, it’s good to keep track of what others might be talking about. Lots of blogs have links to others (as in a Blogroll) or will often feature ideas discussed by other bloggers. Once you have discovered this, you may want to check back regularly for new ideas. Once upon a time, you might do this by developing a favourites folder, say ‘Blogs to Check’. But that might involve a lot of unnecessary checking of inactive blogs. So how can you know what blogs have been updated and when?

Grabbing an RSS feed from a website will help you keep track.

Most blogs will have this option within the sidebars of their blog (people want others to visit again and again) and using tools within IExplorer and Firefox, or an online reader such as Bloglines, you will be able to see which blogs and news sites have been updated since you last visited.

With Internet Explorer 7, all you need do, when at a blog you wish to keep track of, is click on Tools, then Feed Discovery. This identifies if the web page has an RSS feed to add. Then, all that is needed is to click on Subscribe to feed and you decide where it is to be saved (if you have multiple folders for your feeds).

After this, to view feeds, you need to click on View, Explorer Bar, Feeds – which will open a side bar which lists any feeds you have selected. The page which results when you select a particular feed is just for previewing – you can click on the main heading, or the post title,┬áto view the whole blog page.

Firefox requires a similar method except that , at last check, you need to download Sage as a plugin (from the Mozilla web site). The process is then fairly intuititive. Sage becomes your left hand sidebar, and you can transfer feeds to this location and eidt or delete as required, with all details described at the Mozilla web site.

Bloglines. Using Bloglines enables you to track your feeds from any computer online (unlike the abovementioned options). At this site, you sign up, subscribe to your own personal feeds, and can also see popular feeds of others, and search from here on any particular area of interest – including newsreads.

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