I thought today I would do a post explaining RSS (Really Simple Syndication). In really simple terms, RSS is used to serve a user stuff from a website. If this is your first time here why not read some of my previous entries, hopefuly that will convince you that the site is worth ‘being served’ and you can come back here for an explanation of how. If you are a regular here then read on to find out how to get the entries hot off the virtual press!
RSS is, by nature, really, really simple. It has only two components; the feed and the reader. The feed is whatever you are accessing through RSS (i.e. this blog) and is maintained by the site. The reader is the method you use to access your feeds. In this post I’m going to focus on iGoogle as this is my favourite reader but there are hundreds out there to try so don’t just take my word for it.
To start, you will need a Google account (if you don’t already have one). If you already use iGoogle you can skip this step. Click here to get one. Once you click the create account button at the bottom after filling in just a few basic details (email and country of residence) you will be taken to a fresh iGoogle page. You can play around with the options or not, but either way, click the “See your page” button.
The default comes with some good gadgets already, but if there is something you don’t like just click the X to remove it. From here you can click the “Add stuff” link to add some more gadgets or proceed to add your first feed.
When you’re ready, you can add the Seeing Green RSS feed to your page. Click this link to access the feed already in Google (if you want to use another reader use this link). To complete the Really Simple final Step just click the “Add to Google homepage” button. The feed will then be added as a gadget to your Google page and you’re done! From now on whenever a post is added to the site it will appear on your Google page. If you stay logged into Google, your iGoogle page will appear every time you access the site.
If you run Mozillia Firefox it’s incredibly simple to add feeds to your Google page. When you see the orange RSS icon in the address bar of a site click on it and you will be taken to the feed page. Just select Google from the drop down list and click subscribe now. You will then be taken to the same page as the above link and given the option to add the feed to your Google page. What’s more, if you pick Google as your default the number of steps gets even less.
Unfortunately Internet Explorer doesn’t suport external readers so to use iGoogle you must click this link (while logged into iGoogle), then click “Add feed or gadget” on the left side of the screen. You should then paste the link to the feed you want to add. This can be obtained by clicking the RSS logo on the toolbar and copying the address of the page it takes you to. It’s much simpler in Firefox but it isn’t too hard in Internet Explorer either.
I hope this post helped anyone who didn’t know about RSS before, and I hope you now want to subscribe to my feed to see the new posts first!