RSS In Plain English

RSS In Plain English

VideoJug user LeeLefever presents a video describing, in simple terms and format, the power of RSS and the RSS Reader. Learn all you need to know about RSS and news feeds by watching this simple yet informative video.

Step 1: The Theory

The Internet has problems. Technorati says there's over 15 million blogs, and you can see it's going up. This is overwhelming. Today's show is about a new and efficient way to keep up with all this cool stuff that's happening on the Internet. So I'm going to talk about two ways that you can keep up with what's happening on the Web. There's the old, slow way. and then there's the new, fast way.

Step 2: The Old Way

Here's the difference between new and the old way. This is you and here are your favourite websites. You log onto your computer, and you're looking for something new, so you go out to your favourite blogs. Is there anything new there? Nope. You go out to your favourite news sites; is there anything new? Nope. Everytime you look for something new and it's not there, you've wasted valuable time. This is the old way.

Step 3: The New Way

Now, let's consider the new and fast way, which is simply taking these arrows and turning them the other way, which means that the new things from blogs and the new things from your news sites comes to you instead.
It's like Netflix compared to the video store. So what we're talking about is using a single website that becomes your home for reading all the new stuff that's coming from your favourite websites.

Step 4: Getting Started - Step One

There are two steps for getting started. The first step is: you need a home for getting new posts. This is a website called a reader. They are free, and all you need is an account. I use a site called Google Reader.
My favourite sites are listed on the left, and on the right, I can scroll through all the new posts from my favourites from a single place.
So, to complete step one, you need to go sign up for a reader. Google Reader, Blog lines, Newgator, My Yahoo! are good places to start.

Step 5: Getting Started - Step Two

Step number two is to set up a connection between your reader and your favourite websites. Setting up these connections is called subscribing, and it's really important. Nearly every blog and news site offers the ability for you to subscribe so that updates from these sites show up here in your reader. To set up these subscriptions, you just need to look for funny little icons. This is the standard one using the standard orange colour. You may also see these; these little icons say, "Hey, look! Subscribe to me! I can save you time!" Once you find one of these buttons on your favourite site, click on it, and the page that opens up will give you everything you need for subscribing.

Step 6: Adding Your Feed

After you click that button, one of two types of pages are likely to appear.
This is one that provides one-click access to subscribing in your news read.
The other page you're likely to see looks like this, with code on it. If you see this page, copy the URL out of the page, go to your reader, and look for a link that says "add subscription" or "add feed" and click on that and paste the link into your reader.

Step 7: Using Your Reader

So once you've added those subscriptions and the connection is there, new posts will start arriving in your reader and you'll see why this is the new, faster way to read the Web. It's addictive, so be careful!
So for a quick recap, there are two things you need to do. Number one is go sign up for a reader. Number two is to go to your favourite websites, click on the icon and subscribe.