Monday, November 17, 2008

How to Subscribe to this Blog

This blog uses RSS feeds to help keep you informed of the latest posts. If you're not familiar with RSS, it stands for "Really Simple Syndication", and it was invented by Netscape. In short, it's the web technology that allows sites to tell others new information has been added to it.

The big benefit of this technology, is that you get notified when new information is posted to the site (so you don't have to remember to check back on your own).

When you open Internet Explorer, you often see MSN, Yahoo, or some other web page that has several news links on it. Those links are put there by RSS technology. They change daily and are intended to help you stay informed of latest news developments.

In the past, you were limited to seeing the links that others wanted to feed you. But now, thanks to advancements in RSS technology, you can "choose" what links (or information) you'd like to see. There's only two requirements - first the site must have an RSS feed for you to subscribe to, and second, you must have an "RSS reader" (also called an aggregator) in order to read the information published by RSS feeds. This blog has an RSS feed, thereby satisfying the first requirement.

Look in the address bar and find the little orange icon with white lines on it (circled below).

This icon lets you know that a site uses RSS technology. The next step is to find the "subscribe" links somewhere on the page. To do this, you first need to choose an RSS reader (like Google, Yahoo, AOL, Bloglines, etc.).

On this blog, you'll see various feed links on the right sidebar. If you already have a google or yahoo homepage, you can just click the appropriate feed icon on the right sidebar to subscribe to the blog. The advantage of doing this is that each time you open Internet Explorer (or other browser), you can see links to the latest posts on this blog.

There are many other readers out there besides the ones listed here. Google and Yahoo are two of the easiest ones to work with and their homepages can easily be customized.

I personally use Google for my home page. You can sign up for free and the page is very easy to customize to meet your needs. And best all, with RSS technology, it's easy to stay informed of the news and information you're interested in - not what somebody wants to feed you!

If you'd like to learn more about RSS, click here.

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