Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Web Secret #25: RSS

Do you like having chinese food, online shopping orders, and the New York Times delivered to your doorstep? How about the latest entry in your favorite blog iWebU?

RSS is for you.

RSS, stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It allows you to choose content you like and have it delivered to you instantly.

No more clicking from site to site to site to see what’s new. The goods are brought straight to your doorstep. RSS is offered by most major news sites (eg CNN), as well as the vast majority of blogs.

Ultimately, in order to access RSS feeds, you need a news reader, also known as an aggregator. Many people recommend signing up for a news reader as a first step in the RSS process. Actually, I think it's easier to do it the other way around.

First find a website you’d like to be kept up-to-date on.

Let's take this blog for example. On the left side of the iWebU home page, you will see a link "Subscribe to RSS Posts". A drop down menu will show you a list of possible FREE news readers. I like, which requires a 5 second sign up process.

Once you’ve signed up for a reader, you simply have to figure out what sites you’d like to be kept up-to-date on. To use the newsgator site as an example, you will notice a link "Ad Feeds"at the top in the horizontal navigation bar. Click on this button, enter the url of the website you want to sign up - in this case and there you go, you are signed up.

How do you know it's worked?

In the left hand navigation of the home page there is a link "My Feeds" and you will see that iWebU and all its existing blog entries are now easily accessible there.

Go ahead and sign up the blogs and news sites that interest you.

Now you only have to log in to one site,, and all your preferred blogs and sources are in one place!

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