What is RSS and why should I care?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a fast and easy way to share/receive news and updates. How many times have you been browsing the net and seen this? Probably more times than you can count. Say you have a few websites you visit regularly to keep updated on topics of your interest. This can become a pain if you have quite a few you visit and we don’t always have the time to check out our fav sites every day and see if they have new content.
Newsletters are a great way to keep updated on a sites big news announcements, but the problem with newsletters are that you aren’t updated each time content changes unless the webmaster is extremely diligent with sending out newsletters, and a lot of time they arrive in your spam box. With RSS you can subscribe to a feed and use a feed reader such as Google reader to keep track of all the news you can handle. Some RSS feeds even have the option to have the feed sent directly to your inbox if you prefer. Though seriously, why clutter your inbox? Take advantage of the feed reader, you will thank me later!
So how do I get one of these fancy readers? If you have a gmail/google account you can easily use Google’s reader, just sign into your account and go for it. I personally use the Google reader and love it! Don’t have a Google account, GET ONE! It takes five minutes and they provide so many great services, you really shouldn’t be missing out. There are many popular readers to choose from though, just do a search for “RSS feed reader” and check it out!
So how do I subscribe to a feed? EASY! Just click on the RSS icon and follow the on screen steps, you can’t go wrong as there are only a few choices to make. But first be sure to get yourself a reader.
So how do I offer a feed on my blog? Again EASY! There are several feed services that can manage your feeds for you. Feedburner.com is the service I use and its very simple and has a step by step setup. With Feedburner you can have your customers subscribe through a reader or email and you also can keep track of your stats straight through your Feedburner.com account. :) For more info on feeds and Feedburner.com go HERE.