The feed icon, RSS feed is one of the most important button in a website. It allows users to subscribe to the contents of the website and keep up with the updates of it. Although the RSS feeds are getting a lot popular nowadays but still there are a lot of people don’t really know what RSS feeds are. They just keep hearing about subscribing to website’s feeds but don’t know what the heck is it 😛 . So here I’ll clear things up by explaining what is RSS feeds and also how to subscribe to it.
What is RSS?
RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts.
Users of RSS content use programs called feed ‘readers’ or ‘aggregators’: the user ‘subscribes’ to a feed by supplying to their reader a link to the feed; the reader can then check the user’s subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user.
By subscribing to a feed, you can read your favourite websites’ updated content in your feed reader without visiting the websites. Basically its like subscribing to newspaper or email newsletters. When a website updates, you will get notifications on your feed reader. The content on the website will be delivered to your feed reader. The benefit of this? You don’t need to waste your time opening your favourite websites one by one just to check for updated contents!
How to subscribe then?
There are a lot of feed reader services available on the internet. For example: Newsgator, Bloglines, Google Reader and a lot more. Personally I like using Google Reader just because of its fast and easy interface. Whenever you found a website that you would like to subscribe to its feeds, just click on the feed button of the website (the bright orange color button above). Different web browser will do different things when you click on the feed button. As for Mozilla Firefox, you can set what to do when you click on a feed icon in the Tools>Options>Feeds.
Just set which type of feed reader that you used and every time you click on the feed icon, it will automatically redirect you to the page of your feed reader for you to add the feed into your subscription. Confused? Another easy way is that you copy the feed address and add it into your feed reader to subscribe it. As for m3nghua.com, my feed address is http://feeds.feedburner.com/m3nghua .
Once you finish these steps, you had already subscribed to the websites’ feeds. You will receive the content of the updates whenever the websites update.
For website owners, there are some free services that will provide you the statistics of the readers on your websites’ feeds. Feedburner is one of those services. Just register an account, put in the link of your website to burn the feed, then put the feed icon in your website. You will get to know how many readers are reading your feeds and other statistics as well. That’s easy!
So this concludes for my article on RSS feeds. Good luck trying on this RSS trend~ Remember to subscribe to my feed too! 🙂