What Is An RSS FEED?

RSS feeds, How To..

How Do I Set Up An RSS Feed?

Have you seen this symbol? If you read blogs, or visit websites, I am sure you have. RSS represents REAL SIMPLE SYNDICATION or Rich Site Summary (they both mean the same thing), which is a way for you, if you have an interest, to get new information, news, and anything else regarding that topic without having to surf through pages and pages on the Internet.

An RSS page is generated in XML which you are not able to see, but can be seen by the RSS Readers or Aggregators.

How Does RSS Work and What are RSS Newsfeeds?

When you find a blog that you enjoy reading, or a website, they offer a “news feed” where you are able to get their information on a regular basis sent directly to your “News Reader”. This is totally free for you and will be displayed right in your web browser, desktop, or homepage.

If you have seen the stock tickers which are giving you information in real time, allowing you to see what the stocks are doing without going to a website for the a information; this is how the RSS Feed works, delivering the information to your computer as it happens.

Do You Need RSS?

Well, let’s look at the advantages of an RSS Feed and then you get to decide if you need it or not.
This saves your email inbox from getting unlimited newsletters,
You never need to go and get the information,
It is being sent to you without taking up valuable email storage space.

How much easier is it for you to have the newspaper delivered to your front door versus going to the store each morning to get it. This is virtually the same thing, you are having the news you are interested in delivered to you instead of you going out to find it.

An Example:

Let’s say you want to get as much information on viral marketing as that is what you are focusing on at the moment, you will take some time, search out some websites, and when you find something you like and want to stay up on, you simply click on the RSS, and this information will be delivered to you as it comes available. The other way would be to bookmark the page, then go to it every day to see if there is anything new you would be interested in. You will have to wade through all the unwanted information to find what you are looking for. Look how much time and energy you save when you use the RSS Feed option.

How Will RSS Work For You?

There are so many ways this can work for you, there is no one answer. I am going to give you a simple answer allowing you to get RSS Feeds the easiest way possible. Remember however, this is not your only option, just a simple one.

The easiest way is to have it sent to your homepage of your browser.

For instance, I use Google’s homepage and I have RSS Feeds sent directly to my homepage that I have set up for that particular genre of information.

Because I am a writer, I have a page dedicated to writing helps, topics, articles, and I have all of these sent to that home page via RSS. Now, if you have an RSS newsreader (aggregator), you can have it sent there as well. I actually use both. I have my Google Reader where I have RSS Feeds sent to that I don’t read on a regular basis. The more crucial information is sent to my homepage.

If you are wondering about whether you have a newsreader or not, I would guess that you do and not even know it. If you have Yahoo, MSN, Google or Hotmail, you have a reader. Let me help you set one up…We will use MSN as our example.

  1. Go to My.Msn.com and sign in. If you don’t have an account on one of these browsers I have mentioned, set up an account now. You can do this with Yahoo, Google, or MSN in a matter of minutes.
  2. Once you have signed in,you will see information such as weather, news, sports, stocks, local information and ads. This is your selection page, you can move things around, add or delete, making it tailored to your needs and interests. It is simple to move them, just click and drag from the top right of the subject area, moving them, using the minus (-) symbol in the top left area. If you delete one by accident, no worries, you can add them back anytime.
  3. Now in the top left area of the screen, you will see “Welcome”. You are going to add this content below your name, with four choices (Tabs) to assist you. The “Search” tab is the default tab, and from that point you will see your four options. If you know the web address (URL) for a sites newsfeed, enter it there. The three tabs remaining let you browse by subjects and names of companies. You just click on the box that you want.
  4. With Yahoo, you will notice that there are already some news feeds available listed as “Top Stories” from Reuters, along with “Politics”, “World News”, and “Business”. You will notice a big yellow box in the center above these stories giving you clear instructions on how to”Add Content”.
  5. Next you will click on the “Add Content” link bringing up a search box which allows you to “search content” about your subject or topic.
  6. Type in your search phrase, search, and you will be presented an array o results. When you see something that you like, click “Add” next to it. Once you have made your selections, click “Finished” up on the top right of the page.

Now you have added RSS Newsfeeds to your MSN or Yahoo homepage.

As you scroll down your “My Yahoo” page, you will see the headlines you have just added. You can rearrange them in the order you want. If you decide you don’t want a particular fee any longer, then simply delete it.

How Do You Customize Your Own RSS?

You may know a particular RSS Feed you would like and don’t need to “find” it. This is very simple to do. On most pages you will see a small orange box that says XML, News Feeds, or RSS Feed. You then click on that button, and a set of instructions will come up on that page. You will be given an option to choose that Feed to appear in your Aggregator or your homepage. There are some that allow you copy and paste the “news feed URL” and paste it into your news reader.

If you are worried about the code, don’t be, you are just looking at the “feed code” which is the specific URL of the news feed.

This is such a great and convenient way to get the news updated and on a regular basis. My favorite reader is Google Reader, it is so simple to use and navigate.

Below are the Top 7 RSS Readers in order
1.RssReader
2.SharpReader
3.Pluck RSS Reader
4.NewsGator
5.FeedDemon
6.FeedBucket
7.NetNewsWire (Mac OS-X only)

Here are the Top 7 Web RSS Feeds/Aggregators (these require a personal account)

1.Google
2.My.Yahoo
3.NewsGator Online
4.Feedster
5.Bloglines
6.My.MSN
7.My.AOL

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