What’s RSS all about?

Posted in Tools

This article is now very out of date. I have since written a more up to date account of how I use RSS.

So what’s all this talk about RSS, feeds, subscribing, etc.?

It’s something I couldn’t do without for my daily news fix. All I’ve got to do, once I’ve subscribed to a feed, is sit back and let my email program grab any new posts that have been published.

Every time something comes through I see a little number appear and I can read the headline and a line or two of text and decide whether I’m interested enough to read on. If I am, I can follow a link to the article on that person or organisation’s website.

I’ve got my feeds divided into folders- News, Football (all the team news I’m interested in), Music (news of up-coming gigs, new songs, etc.), Web (all of the web-related sites whose opinions I enjoy), Humour (satirical cartoon websites and so on), you get the idea!

If I decide I don’t want to subscribe anymore, I just delete the feed and no more is heard. No emails to sent, requesting that I’m removed from the mailing list and no annoying ‘unsubscribe’ buttons and explanations as to why I’m leaving. (That said, email newsletters have their place.)

So, the next time you’re on, for example, the BBC’s website looking at the recipes section or your favourite football team’s section, look for the little RSS button and give it a click!

This next bit’s for Chrome users

This button might not work if you use Google Chrome. For some reason they haven’t got round to supporting RSS as one of the defaults of the browser! Instead you have to download an extension and install it within Chrome. All seems a bit user-unfriendly (and not at all like Google!) to me, but here’s how to do it.

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