Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tech-y question: RSS feeds

Sometime I will do some web research on this, but perhaps one of you blogger buddies out there can help me.

1. Can you explain RSS feed, what is is, and how it works?

(I do have a simple online definition, but I'd love a beginner's explanation in your words. Please include explanation of what a "reader" is.)

2. Do you have a simple set of directions to install this feature?

3. Where did you find the best explanations and directions? (Blogger, Google, some other place?)

4. What has been your experience with this piece of technological communication? I'm almost definitely going to set it up, and I am reasonably tech-y, it's just something I haven't gotten to, and since I am having a catch-up sort of summer, I thought I'd investigate now.

Many thanks.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Jane---part of what I do in my job is help people learn about using new media (e.g., the Web, podcasts, text messaging, social networking) for HIV prevention testing and treatment initiatives. My office started a blog on new media, including RSS feeds, to help tech newbies learn about the technology and how to use it.

You can ignore the stuff about HIV/AIDS in this post, but I do think it's a pretty good explanation of how RSS feeds work. Check it out and let me know what you think! Blog on RSS Feeds

MikeF said...

Good brief treatment here, Jane, too.

As a Blogger user, you already have an RSS feed - yours is\x3drss - you just haven't explicitly linked to it. (You have a couple of Atom feeds as well - but let's keep it simple!)

Anyone visiting your blog with a modern browser like Firefox, Maxthon or Internet Explorer 7 will see a little RSS icon (usually on the right of theaddress bar) light up, and if they click on that, they can subscribe to your feed, thus giving them a regularly updated list of your posts. (Firefox users can choose which feed reader to use - I use Google Reader - but most other browsers use their own reader (Maxthon, IE7 etc.) or a plug-in one (K-Meleon uses NewsFox...), but either way subscription is easy and painless.

The Blogger help files have a good series of articles, too, here.

Hope this helps!



Jane R said...

You are fantastic! Talk about rapid response!

I'll explore the links tomorrow after church, I am supposed to be writing something this evening. I'll let you know how it goes.

My publicist at Ave Maria Press said she was able to subscribe "by the back door" so I knew there was something or other there, but I wanted to make it easier for people to subscribe, and also understand the whole thing better, hence this little investigation.

You're great. Thanks again.

Chris T. said...

As far as feed reader software goes, you might try Google Reader ( That's what I use -- it's pretty nice.

Jan said...

I don't know anything, Jane, but wanted to thank you for visiting my blog!

more cows than people said...

jane, i don't believe i ever received your e-mail. yes, i have a pregnancy blog. please try e-mailing again at peace, more cows

Kirstin said...

I use Bloglines for all my subscriptions. It's easy. But I don't know any more about how these work, than you do.