Browsing the archives for the feed tag.

RSS: What & Why?

Written on February 10, 2009 by
informative, technology

Out on the wild and untamed frontier of the interweb, many locales are vying for your attention. No doubt there are plenty of “regular stops” on your daily or weekly web safaris; websites that provide you with entertainment, news or time wasters.

But don’t you get tired of typing in those long convoluted web addresses like cnn.com? You might even have to put “h t t p colon forward slash forward slash w w w dot” in front of it! Or how about those websites that don’t update regularly, like when it’s Ringl’s turn to post here on Warptubes! (Hey-o!)

What if I told you that you could go to one place and get everything you wanted from all your favorite websites whenever new content was posted? My friends, the dream is a reality.

Most websites on the internet have something that we in the “biz” call a RSS Feed. What in the world is a RSS feed? Say you find a magazine in the grocery store that you really like. It’s a pain that next month you have to go to the grocery store again to pick up the newest issue. It’s so much easier just to subscribe to the magazine and have the new issues sent to you! That’s the magic of RSS. When you subscribe to an RSS Feed, you will get the latest updates from that website sent directly to you!

Want to get started? Just follow along here. In order to subscribe to a RSS Feed, you need a Feed Reader (called an “Aggregator” in the biz). Blah blah blah, technobabble. You just want a link and a tutorial. Follow along:

Go to http://google.com/reader.

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Google Reader is like the mailbox in which you receive your magazine subscriptions. It grabs the latest news and articles from websites and puts it all in one place for you to access from any computer. For a simple break down of what exactly Google Reader does and how it can assist you, watch this video:

To start adding websites, sign in. If you don’t already have a Google account, click “Create an account” in the bottom right.

Once you’ve made an account or signed in, you’ll see the main screen with some introductory information

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Now for the fun stuff! Click the picture-3 button in the top right and type in one of your favorite websites. For instance, “Warptubes” or “http://warptubes.com”

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Google will then find the website or feed it thinks you want. Look for the one that seems right, then click “Subscribe”

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From then on, your favorite websites will show up on the bottom right under Subscriptions. The number next to the Subscription name is how many new unread items have come in.picture-7

When you’re checking out your Subscriptions, the new articles and updates will come through looking like this:

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It’s not exactly the same as you’re used to seeing from your favorite website, but all of the content will be there and will look much cleaner with a lot fewer ads (if any!). I call that a sweet deal. If you do need to see the article in its original context, just click the title at the top. That link will take you straight to the page where the update was posted.

Not sure if your favorite website has an RSS feed? If Google couldn’t find it when you clicked “Add a subscription”, then look around on the website for a icon that looks like this:

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Click on that and copy and paste the URL into Google Reader’s “Add a subscription” box, and viola! You’re set.

Google Reader has revolutionized my internet browsing and brings all the content I want directly to me. This tutorial will hopefully save you some time, too, while still getting all the news and articles you’re used to!

This ended up being a long post, but if you followed along and can get into the habit of using Google Reader, you will be much better off!
Still not sure about something? Have some questions? Post in the comments below and I’ll give you some advice.

Enjoy!

– Shaw

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