Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hungry? Then Get Fed With An RSS feed

What is an RSS Feed?

I hope you weren't really hungry because an RSS feed is not something you eat it is an aggregator. Wikipedia explains that an "aggregator...reduce(s) the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or "personal newspaper." Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update. The content is sometimes described as being "pulled" to the subscriber, as opposed to "pushed" with email or IM. Unlike recipients of some "pushed" information, the aggregator user can easily unsubscribe from a feed."

Examples of Aggregators

An example of an aggregator is the RSS feed on my page. If you subscribe you will need a program that will let you read the feeds. That means it will send you my newest posts directly into your aggregator or reader. When I post something the program will post a link to the new post I have added on my blog on your reader page.

Anyone Know How They Feed the Readers?

To read RSS feeds you need a RSS reader or aggregator. Below I will explain two different kinds of Readers you can use to start receiving feeds.

Using An Online RSS Reader

I use Google's RSS reader on my igoogle.com account. This is a free service to Gmail account users. You can get a Gmail account for free at mail.google.com. If you have already signed up for Gmail all you have to do is go to your igoogle.com page and click on Add Stuff. It will then prompt you to add a gadget. Do a search for the gadget called Google Reader. Be sure it is the one made by Google. I really like this kind of reader since you can use it online and that meants I can see my feeds from any computer I log onto.

Can I install an RSS Reader On My Computer?

Yes, you just need to find a one that you enjoy using. There are many aggregate readers out there an you can do a search on Google for them. I recommend starting out with one of these two free ones: RSSOwl for Windows and NewsWire for MAC.

Using aggregate feeds is a great way to keep up with news and all sorts of information that is posted online, like my blog. Instead of you going out and looking for the information, the information comes to you. I highly recommend using one if you aren't already doing so.

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