Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 21, 2010
You know, it’s possible that this is one of those posts I really don’t have to do, but something is telling me that I need to make sure. What’s prompting it is that lately more than half of the spam I get asks the question “how do I subscribe to your feed.” As simple as it seems, after a meeting I had last Friday I realized that many people really aren’t all that internet savvy, and they might not even know what a feed is to know how to subscribe to it, or even where. Hence, this post. For the rest of you who already know this… y’all don’t have to read this, unless you want to see if I miss something.
You see that symbol to the right? Any time you see that symbol it means that particular website or post has what’s known as RSS, or Really Simple Syndication (sometimes known as Rich Site Summary) feed. In essence, it means you can follow certain websites or blogs that have new content with some kind of regularity in a place other than having to visit that website. You can subscribe to the feed by clicking on that orange button whenever you see it and read it whenever you want to somewhere else. I use a program called Feedreader, which is independent of a browser, and a lot of people use Google Reader, which uses the browser, but groups all the feeds in one place. There are plenty of other options as well.
On websites, you might see that orange symbol in many different places, and sometimes it depends on the browser you’re using. On Firefox, you’ll see that little symbol to the far right of the address bar. On IE 8, you’ll see that symbol on the right next to the home button on the toolbar. On some sites you’ll see that symbol elsewhere, and it might not be the orange symbol. Seems that some sites will change the color of the symbol. If you look on my blog, you see that symbol in the far right column, and underneath that you can decide to subscribe by email, which other sites also. This means you’ll get any blog posts from me through email instead of a reader; many people like that instead. Other sites will do this as well.
That’s pretty much all it takes for RSS subscriptions. And those of us who blog love when people subscribe, as we want more people to read what we have to say. I subscribe to many blogs and news sites, more than 200, although I think it might be time to pare down my list some. We’ll see if I get to that. Any questions?