RSS feeds are, simply put, a way for a website/page to update YOU about changes to the page, rather than you having to check to see if something new was posted. In fact, it can even send you the full article text, or just a short blurb to pique interest. This works extremely well for blogs and is useful for wikis and other pages. I use it for this blog, macrumors.com, phdcomics.com (ya I know, but it is funny...) just to give you some examples. The underlying technology must be supported by the website (server) and you must have a client, typically an email reader or your web browser. Which you choose depends on your preferences. I use Apple Mail and choose to have my feeds come there because it is convenient to check email and check new updates at the same time. Alternatives include Firefox and Safari, etc. I'm sure Google Chrome supports and I guess Internet Explorer (avoid like the plague) does too. For those really curious, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. But that doesn't matter.
So as requested, a brief overview of how to get started setting up RSS feeds: For Safari, simply load the webpage you want (like this one). Then look in the text box where you type in the URL of the website you wanna go to; on the right side, you will see a little icon that says 'RSS'. Click it. For Firefox, you will see something similar, except you will see an icon that is orange, and has three arcs in it. Apparently thats the RSS icon.
Various things happen after you click, I cannot cover them all because I have no clue what combination of software you all use. Usually you will be asked to subscribe to an 'Atom' or 'RSS'. I think Atom is version 2 (newer) than standard RSS in that it can send you media files as well. I just click RSS (I like the Really Simple part). Your operating system (Mac OS X or Windows) will ask you what you want to use as your reader. I suggest your email reader, if you use one. If not, just use Firefox. I'm not sure about the details there. Many of you probably use gmail. In that case, you'll have to use reader.google.com. For blogger blogs, it should automatically link up with this blog since it is owned by Google. This behaves like a news aggregator, and isn't as good as getting it directly sent to your email reader or browser. Whichever ever reader you choose, don't worry, it will not mix up with your emails (unless I guess you want it to?).
When stuck and confused - Google for the answer. Or ask here, I may be able to help out, but no guarantees.
Finally - a word to the blog owners - basic RSS feeds are included in all blogs apparently. But this will only send the actual article out to those subscribed/followers/contributors. It will not send a comment out to an article by default. You must enable this by going into the setup options somewhere. I googled it before, so google it and you'll find out how to enable that option. For low traffic sites like this one, every post and comment is probably valuable and not much of a burden to get notification (and the actual msg).
5 years ago