Tuesday, 25 September 2007

What is an RSS Feed and why add to my blogpage?

This post is in reply to Alison's question ...how do I add an RSS to my page?

First up what is an RSS Feed?
A Web document that is a shortened version of a Web page that has been created for syndication. Feeds usually end in .xml or .rss. (webopedia)

I have seen the question asked..."Why do readers need an RSS when they have the URL for my blog?" Because rather that visiting all the sites I want to read, individually, I can keep up with current content changes through a feed aggregator.

What is a Feed Aggregator?
In Internet technology it is software or a hosted application that collects feeds from various sources and displays it in a single consolidated view, either in a window on your desktop or in a Web browser. Also called feed aggregator or RSS aggregator. (webopedia)

This is an efficient way to keep track of content I am interested in, also I can access my aggregator from any computer online. Content includes blogs, podcasts, email, images, twitter ...basically anything you want to keep track of.

Why do I want to add a feed tool to my blog page?
To encourage and assist readers to stay up-to -date with your blog?

How do I add an RSS to my page?
In blogger there is a Feed link at the bottom of the page...it looks like this.
If a reader clicks on the link, a subscription will be created through their aggregator.
Also you might want to use FeedBurner a web-based tool that helps promote content from your blog. I have added a FeedBurner link to the sidebar of this blog as an example, and posted a PDF of instructions on the ICTinEnglish wiki.

If you want to subscribe to feeds from your favourite sites you will need to set up an aggregator first. My next post will cover this. I strongly recommend you do this as it make keeping up with new content, faster and alerts you to what is really of interest to you. In the meantime here are some aggregators, my favourite is NetVibes.

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