Posts Tagged ‘rss’

RSS? What the heck is that!?

January 17, 2009

Okay so it looks like the first subject I will begin to discuss, from the “techy-side of tabby” (some may refer to as “the dark side”), will be RSS feeds.

What the heck is an RSS feed? Well! It’s a big pink ball!!! Just kidding! An RSS feed is a wonderful little tool that helps avid blog or news readers stay on top of the latest and greatest all from one single place.

Imagine a world where you want to keep up with 20 different blogs and three major news sites and four local news sites and your local animal shelter’s pet list. In this world, you might have to go to 27 different sites every single day just to catch up on things. Oh wait! That’s what most of us do! HEHE. Well, as you know, that’s GREAT for the advertisers of the site and for the unique views/visits and click-throughs (yay business!) but really time consuming for the end-user.

Now, imagine a world where you create a space where you log in and go to ONE SINGLE web page and see the latest blog entries, latest news posts from your major news, and latest local postings? Well, that leaves plenty of time for you to traverse your local animal shelter site to see their listings, doesn’t it!? (Hint: Local animal shelters, please get an RSS feed soon!)

Okay so here’s what you do. Find what they call an “aggregator” which sounds like alligator but its not an alligator, at all. The good news is that many of us have access to an aggregator without knowing it. Firefox has a built-in tool for you to add it to what is called a “Live Bookmarks” folder. Then you can go to your bookmarks and see a menu item for the blog. Try it out using the steps below:

Steps:
1: Using firefox, click here
2: In the top of the page, you should see “Subscribe to this feed using” and then a drop down selection showing “Live Bookmarks”. Select “Subscribe now.”
3: Now go to your Bookmarks menu and navigate down to “Bookmarks Toolbar” and you should see “Girls by Design: This is a Blog.”
4: Hover over that and you should see a list of the latest blogs.

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Easy, hey? So! What if you don’t have Firefox? Well, firstly you might want to ask yourself why not but then if you really don’t want to get Firefox and make your web browsing experience more enjoyable, then you can use google.com as a reader as well. Do this by signing up for a google.com account and then going to http://www.google.com/reader/. Then you see a control panel with lots of options. In the top left, click “Add a subscription” and paste the following into the box that appears: http://blog.girlsbydesign.com/feed/ et voila! Now you can see the latest blog entries in your feed.

Now, getting back to “its good for unique views and click-throughs if you visit the site.” That’s true. So, while RSS feeds are a beautiful tool, please be sure to come back to the site and participate as often as possible!

There is one other note as well. RSS in and of itself refers to “Really Simple Syndication.” Many blogs and newsites provide several different methods to syndicate their material such as ATOM (which is the same thing but just a slightly different delivery method). In this case, you can use the same two methods above to syndicate ATOM for most cases.

Post here if you have any questions or additional comments to add about the world of The Pink Ball.

xo,
tabby

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