If you’re reading this blog and you don’t know what RSS is, it’s time to find out. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS allows website visitors to automatically receive updates via specialized software known as a Feed Reader. Depending on the site, these updates can include the title, author and summary of new postings or articles. The update will sometimes contain an image that goes along with the article, but they always contain a hyperlink that lets you read the full article on the site you subscribed to.
To subscribe to a site using RSS, you must first choose a Feed Reader (see below). Depending on the reader you choose, simply clicking on the link (usually something that says "subscribe to this blog" or "subscribe via RSS or XML") will be enough to subscribe you to that site. Alternatively, you may need to copy the link’s URL (Windows users can right click on the link and choose "copy shortcut") and paste it into the appropriate field within your reader.
More on Feed Readers
As of the writing of this article, there are literally hundreds of Feed Readers to choose from. Some are web-based and can be accessed from any computer with a browser and an internet connection. Others can be downloaded and installed on your computer. There are benefits to both types depending on your needs. Web-based readers are available anytime, anywhere, but may offer limited control over the sorting, display and frequency of update times. Installed readers can be powerful tools that let you manage multiple site subscriptions and give you plenty of display choices, however these readers are only accessible from the computer you installed them on.
If you are a frequent visitor to Sympatico / MSN you may prefer to use the feed aggregation function that is built-in to MyMSN.
Anytime you see this icon you can click it to instantly add a site’s feed to your MyMSN page. Users of Windows Live can use this link:
For people who use Internet Explorer as their browser, you might want to check out version 7, which includes the ability to determine if a web site has a RSS feed, and of course offers you the option to subscribe.
For more information on RSS and feed reader software, check out the following resources: