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What Is An RSS Feed?

May 8th, 2007 · No Comments

I was showing someone this site over the weekend and they asked me “What is that big orange button at the top of the page?”.

Sometimes it’s easy as a blogger to forget that not everybody is familiar with things like news feeds so here is a quick and simple guide to RSS.

RSS is a quick and easy way to keep up to date with all of your favourite websites or blogs. Rather than keep checking the site every day to see if there’s any new content, you simply subscribe to the sites RSS feed and get notified of any changes. All you need is a feed reader and away you go!

My personal choice of feed reader is Google Reader but there are plenty of other options out there including Bloglines and Newsgator. If you use a personalised homepage like iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN then you can also use these. All of these are free and really easy to set up.

Once you’ve set up your feed reader, subscribing to an RSS feed is dead simple. Simply go to your favourite website or blog and look for the subscription or feed options. The chances are that you’ll see the big orange button somewhere on the page. Click on the button, chose your feed reader and that’s it. No, really. The whole process will take less than 30 seconds. Just to prove it, click here to subscribe to Twenty Steps.

Here is a great video presentation on the benefits of using RSS feeds, how to set up your feed reader and how to subscribe to an RSS feed.

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RSS in Plain English
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Tags: Blogging