Helpful Info

On this page you will find bits and pieces of information on a variety of topics which I have included just because you might find them useful.  I need to figure out how to make them separate posts :)

What is RSS?  How do I use it?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  The term syndication means “the supply of material for reuse and integration with other material”.  It comes from the old days of newspapers, when editors realised how much better their newspaper would be if they used articles from other newspapers –they would be able to cover a far wider area than with just their own reporters.  In your newspaper today comics, columns, horoscopes, and crossword puzzles are usually syndicated content.

Now think about the World Wide Web, where there are millions of authors writing about millions of topics each day.  No matter how much you like a particular blog, you may not have time to visit it each day to check for new posts.  If you like 5 blogs, then it is even harder to keep up.

RSS allows you to collect all the latest material from all the web sites you like in one central list.  All you have to do is go to your RSS reader and flick through the list of articles to keep up to date.  Simple!

All feed readers work pretty much the same way; they make it possible for you to quickly scan headlines and/or full stories at a glance, from a variety of different providers, all in one place.  There are a variety of feed readers available for free on the Web* – the one that I use is Google Reader.  It is quick and easy to get going with; no need to download software.

To start using Google Reader, simply go to www.google.com/reader and sign in using your Google account or create a new one. Now for something to read.

•    Click on the “Add a subscription” button and you can either type in the url (web address) of the blog you want to subscribe to, or you can type a search term and it will list some blogs on that topic with a “Subscribe” button for you to use.

•    You can click on “Browse for stuff” and choose from the suggestions – news, sports, or staff picks.

•    When you are reading a blog that you like, click the orange and white RSS button to subscribe.  It will be added to your list in Google Reader.

Happy reading!

*  Go to http://email.about.com/od/rssreaderswin/tp/windows_free.htm for a list of the Top 9 Free Windows RSS Feed Readers

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