Having a Google reader account, where I read news articles from a variety of sources every morning, I really should know what a RSS feed is and how it works. But like most things connected with digital media I just know it’s there and it works. Truth be told it’s not the only application I use with little or no understanding.
RSS Feed stands for really simple syndication. Basically it’s a format that publishes the media from regularly changing content, aka – news sites, blogs, and other online publishers, as a RSS feed to whoever wants it. They help people who view multiple sites each day, which is how most of us use the internet, and get information they want and need. Instead of going out (and wasting time) to search for new information, the new information comes straight to you. It allows an individual to stay informed easily by retrieving the latest content from the sites they are interested in. This provides you with an efficient way to gather information and is a time saver as you are not switching back and forth from each individual site.
Sounds great, so how do you setup a RSS Feed? It’s a very simple process. First you need a home for reading the content that your favorite sites post. The software that will be home for your information is called a “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator” and can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile device based. The popular web-based “feed readers” include My Yahoo, Bloglines, and Google Reader. They are free but you most likely have to setup an account with the “reader” of your choice. After you have set-up your reader, to complete the process you will want to subscribe your reader to the websites you like. To subscribe, go to the websites you want updates on and look for this symbol:
Once you click the symbol you can subscribe and you are good to go!
Delicious is a social bookmarking system that goes hand in hand with your RSS Feed Reader. Not only can you save your bookmarks with Delicious, you can share your bookmarks too. Beyond getting the consistent stream of fresh content, users on Delicious can build, categorize, qualify content and tag specific websites. The more a website is bookmarked by people the more credible the website is viewed. By using key words, tagging, helps you categorize the information that is published. This is cool because you don’t just have to store your bookmark in one folder, you can create as many unique keywords as you want to tag your bookmark. Delicious unlike a traditional RSS Feed, where you choose what you want to subscribe to, allows you to discover and explore new and useful sites through other delicious users. And these Delicious bookmarks can be easily accessed through any browser or RSS reader.