Friday, December 28, 2007

About RSS

A commenter asked me about RSS and I didn't realize it, but the ability to subscribe is built into blogspot blogs. This was kindly brought to my attention by Roy (who didn't even take the opportunity to make fun of my not knowing this fact about my own blog's front page - he's always a gentleman).

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of my front page, you'll see that you can subscribe via the link pictured above. I don't blame my readers for not finding this because I think this is easy to miss given how long my posts are and the fact that there are 5 articles on the front page at any given time. It's a long way down there and there's no reason to get to the bottom if you're regularly reading from the top. It's also pretty subtle.

As for me, I have no excuse. I just wasn't paying attention. :-) Thanks again, Roy!


Jon said...

I've been reading your site through livejournal since I first began reading :)

Shari said...

Heh, heh. I'm guessing the list of people who are more attentive and aware of the RSS situation than me is very, very long. ;-)

Thanks for reading. :-)

tornados28 said...

I still don't fully understand RSS. What does "subscribe" really do? It's not like I get a regular email or a newsletter. And I have your blog in my Favorites anyways so I am still missing something about RSS I guess.

Roy said...

If you look at the source for your top page, you can see that the URL to your RSS feed in listed in a meta tag. So RSS enabled browsers will detect whether a RSS feed exists for this website or not. If it does, a RSS feed icon will appear and you can subscribe to it in your browser.

tornados28, an RSS feed lets you subscribe to a large number of news , blogs and other information sites . An RSS feed is basically an XML version of the content of a site which is a standard format so any kind of RSS reader will be able to process and display the information. An RSS reader aggregates all your subscribed RSS feeds and automatically goes to all those sites and checks whether there is an update or not. That way you only need to look at your rss reader to read all your regular content rather than always visiting every site each time and checking. It allows you to cover a huge amount of information in one convenient place and is the reason why people get addicted to information.

I use Google Reader as my default reader cause it's web based and I can access it from anywhere. You only need to type in the URL of the site you want to subscribe to and you're good to go.