Thursday, 14 June 2012

What is RSS and How to Use It

RSS Feed IconIf you are a frequent or moderately frequent internet user, you are sure to have come across the word RSS. What the heck is this thing RSS??

What Is RSS

In the “boring old days” of internet, Keeping track of your favorite websites including blogs and news sites was a messy and frustrating affair .You had to go to each and every website to check if there’s something new. There are chances that you miss important information. Boo!!! Really tedious and time consuming business!! Isn’t it?

Here comes the magic of technology!! RSS (Really Simple Syndication)!!Now all your news and articles from your favorite websites comes to you at single place called the “RSS Feed reader (also called aggregators)”.You only have to check the RSS feed reader of yours, pretty much the same way as you check your email inbox and can almost forget visiting those sites.

Enough of all those background stuff!Now let’s get our hands dirty.

How to Use RSS

Step 1:Signup with an RSS reader

The First thing you need to do is get an RSS reader. There are many RSS Feed readers that offer you a variety of features and options. I use Google Reader and recommend it because it’s simple and easy to use. However there are other feed readers like Bloglines,My Yahoo,Newsgator,Netvibes and many more.Sign up for any of these services.

Step 2 : Subscribe To RSS Feeds

Now you have an RSS reader and the next thing you have to do is to subscribe to the RSS feeds of your favorite websites. There are a couple of ways to do this:

1. Using the RSS Feed Buttons on the Websites
2. From your browser.

Onsite Subscription

You may find icons like the one seen at the beginning of this article. Clicking on it will lead you to a subscription window where you can opt your RSS feed reader and you are almost done.Sometimes the icon may lead you to a page containing some XML code like this:
RSS Onsite SubscriptionThen you just have to copy and paste the URL of the page into the Subscription options in your feed reader.In some websites they have one click buttons that makes subscription as easy as a click. All you have to do is to select your reader.

RSS Feed Readers

OnBrowser Subscription

These days many browsers have the option to subscribe to the RSS feeds from within the browser window.In Firefox it looks like this:
RSS Feed On Browser Subscription

Step 3 : Start Reading Your RSS Feeds.

Log on to your reader and start reading. Simple!!
In the beginning you might have some hiccups but it’s only a matter of getting used to the system.
For those of you who are a bit confused still, I recommend watching the following video:

Hope by now you have a pretty clear idea on What is RSS.
Finally Don’t Forget to subscribe to our RSSfeeds to enjoy great howto guides and tips.
Happy Reading!!
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