What is RSS? I have been frequently asked about this and thought its worth to write a post to
define RSS and hopefully shedding some light on the topic.
How wonderful would it be if you could keep up to date with the latest posts on T3c-n0-cr@t ?
You can use our RSS Feed to subscribe to this site and receive updates. But What is RSS?
In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added.
The problems with bookmarking
* You as the web surfer had to do all the work
* It can get complicated when you are trying to track many websites at once
* You miss information when you forget to check your bookmarks
* You end up seeing the same information over and over again on sites that don’t update very often
RSS Changes Everything
What if you could tell a website to let you know every time that they update? In a sense, this is what RSS does for you.
RSS flips things around a little and is a technology that provides you with a method of getting relevant and up to date information sent to you for you to read in your own time. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published.
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to.
I find the ’subscription’ description helpful. It’s like subscribing to a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.
How to Use RSS
Get an RSS Reader – The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re getting into reading sites via RSS is to hook yourself up with an RSS Feed Reader.
There are many feed readers going around with a variety of approaches and features – however a good place to start is with a couple of free and easy to use web based ones like Google Reader and Bloglines. Either one will do if you’re starting out (I use Google’s Reader) – as I say there are many others to choose from but to get started either of these are fairly easy to use and will help you work out the basics of RSS.
Both of these feed readers work a little like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update and can read it right there in the feed reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item – marking the last one as ‘read’.
The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and give it a go. Both have helpful help sections to get you up and running. Some other options to track websites that you might already be familiar with include using pages like MyYahoo, MyGoogle and MyMSN.
Way to find Feed to Subscribe to – there are 2 places to look for site’s feed:
1. In the Browser
2. On the Site Page
Many internet browsers now have the ability to find and subscribe to RSS feeds built right into them.
When you surf to a site you can usually tell if it has an RSS feed by looking in the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL.
Here’s how it looks for T3c-n0-cr@t when you’re using Firefox:
See the little orange icon on the right hand side? Click that and you’ll be locating to: T3c-n0-cr@t’s RSS Feed
On Site Subscription
Over the last few years you may have noticed a lot of little buttons and widgets appearing on your favorite sites and blogs. Little orange buttons, ‘counters’ with how many ‘readers a blog has, links called RSS, XML, ATOM and many more.
They come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few you might have seen:
There are plenty more – but any time you see any of these buttons or anything like them it means that the site you are viewing almost certainly has a feed that you can subscribe to. In most cases it’s as simple as either copying and pasting the link associated with the button into your RSS Reader or clicking the button and following the instructions to subscribe using the feed reader of your choice.
Once you’ve done this and have subscribed to a few feeds you’ll begin to see unread items in your Feed Reader and you can start reading.
Further reading on RSS is available here:
What is RSS: A tutorial introduction to feeds and aggregators
HOW TO: Getting Started with RSS
Hopefully this answers your question of ‘What is RSS‘ !
Blog is the condensed name for a “weblog” or “web log”.
Blogging is the action you perform when you make a post to a web log or blog, comment on a previous blog post or maintain a blog. Many people who make posts to a blog on a regular basis are referred to as bloggers.
Basically, a blog is an online journal where you can post your thoughts, observations and comments about a particular topic that the weblog covers. A blog is just a simple web page that has chunks of information called posts added to them on a regular basis. Depending on how it was setup by the person maintaining the blog, the posts can be all on one page forcing visitors to scroll down, or each post will have its own individual web page. When you are blogging and visiting different blogs, you will see the most recent posts first at the top of the web page.
Official definition of Blog from Wikipedia is:
A blog (a contraction of the term “Web log”) is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
The Uses of Blogging
Online personal journals were some of the first blogs. Individuals used their computers and the technology of the internet to make entries into their journals rather than the traditional method of keeping a pen and paper journal. Blogs are primarily categorized as personal since many of them are online journals but today many blogs are used for a variety of purposes. Businesses are starting to use blogs as a way to provide information about their products and services. Politicians are using blogs to communicate with their constituents. Musicians and other entertainers are using blogging as a means to stay in touch with their fans as they tour. The list goes on.
Often, blogging is a way for you the individual to post a comment on a particular news item or subject such as politics, world or local news events, hobbies, entertainment etc. The topics covered in a blog are endless, and many times controversial and volatile. Sometimes one simple post can lead to a flood of additional comments and many have gone so far as to gain national attention by being mentioned in the news media.
Blogging Software and Services
Originally, blog posts are mostly text based. However, changes in internet technology and online services have given rise to other ways to make posts such as using video and audio (also known as podcasting). Now today a typical blog will have a combination of text, photos, video, and audio as well as links to other blogs and websites that are related to the topic of the blog.
Blogging has taken off and grown in popularity over the years. Now, a blog can be setup in a matter of minutes with little or no cost. There are varieties of hosting sites that will allow you to setup a blog free, and many web hosts now offer ways to quickly and easily install a variety of blogging software such as WordPress.
Along with quickly setting up a blog, many of the free online blogging services easily provide ways to allow you to make video and audio posts on your blog. They also offer other features such as password protecting your blog so you can keep your thoughts and feelings private, or allow only a select few in to view your blog. You are also able to pick the look or theme of your blog from literally thousands of different templates available; this is a great way to express your own individuality with your blog.
Couple of the most widely used free blogging services today are WordPress.com & Blogger.com (owned by Google). In few easy steps, you can setup your very own blog and start expressing your thoughts and views to the world. After you setup your blog, you can make posts to it at any time day or night. The blogging services today are so easy to use and you do not need to have any technical knowledge of HTML or any other web coding language. In fact, if you can use a word processing program such as Notepad or MSWord, you can start blogging today.
How Blogging Benefits You
Blogging has been mostly been used for personal thoughts, professional observations, political rants, and entertainment reviews. However, there are so many more reasons to start blogging. You can even stay connected with your family and friends. Through blogging, you can to stay connected and share things even though you may live thousands of miles apart. You can share photos and post videos and audio files that let us remain a part of each other’s lives.
Through your blog, you can share with the world your thoughts about any topic you like. Having a blog is one of the easiest ways to stay in contact with others and communicate with others who have the same interests that you do. Everyone has something to say and wants to be heard when they say it. Blogging allows you to share your experiences, joys, laughter and pain. With a blog, you can find answers to your questions, learn new, exciting and wonderful things, comfort a friend or be comforted at times. Remember, the benefits that can come from having a blog are as wide and varied as the different topics that a blog can cover.
Plaxo is a lot of things. It’s mostly about synchronizing the things that you and your friends do all across the web in a single place without you having to worry about any of it. It’s also about staying in touch with friends, colleagues and family on a daily basis. Now with Pulse, Plaxo has become a fun and an efficient way to communicate with all of your friends, family and business contacts. Read it all here