When I meet Knoxify readers, I often ask if they’re an RSS subscriber. Surprisingly, the most common response is a confused face.
To shed some light on RSS feeds and subscriptions, I have provided a step-by-step tutorial below so that you can learn how to easily follow all of your favorite Knoxville blogs.
This may be very elementary to a few folks but remember that this was written for someone who has never heard of RSS before.
What is RSS?
Really Simple Syndication or RSS is a feed from a Web site such as Knoxify. When a new post or article is published to the homepage, it is also sent into the RSS feed.
Here at Knoxify our feeds are located below the orange search box in the middle column.
What do I do with an RSS link?
RSS feeds are exceptionally helpful when tossed into an RSS reader. Stay with me here.
RSS readers take the many RSS feeds of the world and organize them into a hub of content. Essentially, all of your favorite Knoxville blogs can be placed on one page, where real-time updates coming flooding in.
Since I recommend using Google Reader for RSS feeds, I’ll walk you through the quick and easy setup using the Knoxify feed.
- Go to http://reader.google.com and click ‘Create an account’
- Complete the registration process just like you would for an e-mail account
- Once complete, navigate back to http://reader.google.com, where you should have an empty reader
That wasn’t too hard now was it?
I’ve got my RSS reader, now what?
Since there are multiple browsers available, I’ll provide the semi-long instructions. Here’s what you do.
- Click on ‘Entries’ and you’ll be taken to an RSS feed page
- Copy the URL in the address bar. This is http://feeds.feedburner.com/Knoxify for Knoxify
- Now, go to http://reader.google.com
- Click ‘Add subscription’ and paste in the RSS feed URL
- Click ‘Add’ and give it a few seconds
- You should now see several Knoxify posts in right pane of Google Reader
Congrats, you should now be an RSS feed user via your reader. Should you want to explore more ways to subscribe check out the help section on Google.
Now, every time one of your favorite sites posts new content, it will automagically go to your RSS reader. Should you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Photography by Jacob Bøtter
Or you could just go to Knox’d.
@Patrick – I concur. Although, I hope this tutorial is a catalyst for people to begin using a feed reader for all of their sites, both local and national.
But as you said, using Knox’d will make you a better Knoxvillian for sure!
Using an RSS reader to subscribe to various websites is like using a radio to listen to a bunch of different radio stations.
If you really wanted to, you could drive around to your favorite radio stations, walk inside and listen to their broadcast in studio; however, it’s much easier to listen on a radio. In the same way, you can use an RSS reader to “tune in” to all your favorite “web broadcasts” any time you want.
Knoxify readers, follow Casey’s lead and start using an RSS reader. It will revolutionize how you use the web.
Do you all prefer Google over Bloglines?
I’ve only had experience with Google Reader.
Google is what I started to use. I had to get off the couch and do something, or someone might write a post about how I was a poser who didn’t use an RSS feed.
@Michael Silence – I’ve had experience with both; however, when I was first getting acquainted with RSS, I remember finding Google Reader to be much more intuitive. I created an account at Bloglines first and promptly forgot about it. Then once I had more knowledge about RSS, I found Google Reader and was able to quickly take advantage of its features.
Sidenote: Many have written before about the challenges of educating non-technical audiences about RSS. Recently, I’ve heard a couple of my non-techie friends learning about RSS via some of the default settings in the latest version of MS Outlook (I hear it comes with some feeds already subscribed). In addition, lately I have pointed people to this video explanation:
I personally use http://sharpreader.net/ which is a client that is installed on a local machine. The disadvantage is your feeds are bound to that one machine. The advantage is that I get a popup notification the instant that a feed is updated (well, at the interval I have the reader set to..some feeds every hour..some every 15 minutes..others daily etc).
One of the nice things about using a feed reader, be is SharpReader, Google Reader, bloglines etc is that if an old post gets updated, the feed reader lets you know. Many blogs also publish their comments in an RSS feed. So rather than relying on Cocomments or just coming back to a post and refreshing it, your feed reader will alert you to new comments.
Reality Me’s feed is http://realityme.net/feed/ and the comments are http://realityme.net/comments/feed/ These are currently burned through Feedburner so the url will change but I am considering doing away with Feedburner because at my level of traffic, it serves very little purpose.
Common Craft has an excellent video on RSS which you might consider embedding in your post. http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english Nice work!
My dirty little secret: I rarely fire up NetNewsWire (my reader of choice) any more. Once in a while, when standing in line at the bank or something I’ll check out Google reader on my BlackBerry.
But I’ve gone away from the deluge of data that became my feeds. Opening an app and seeing thousands of unread posts = frustration. So now I have a set of bookmarks I use for daily, weekly and monthly readings. I see the full page in context and once in a while an ad catches my eye.
I’m not against RSS, I just found that for my own sanity I had to dial back. Too much of a good thing!
@Victor – I have found myself frustrated by Google Reader as well. But I have to take the blame for that one for adding too many feeds.
Another site I’ve found helpful that organizes feeds into buckets is http://feedhole.com. With that site, I have my feeds organized out by WordPress, Web Design, Journalism, etc. in which I scan only the headlines. If something catches my eye I open it up.
Feed Hole also lets you move feeds around so you can put the ones most important to you at the top.
I prefer reading my feeds in Mozilla Thunderbird. I also keep them in My Yahoo!.
late to the fray, but I used to use bloglines and my major frustration was that as my feeds built up like @victor I’d click a feed and have to read all of them. I then switched to NetNewsWire, which I like because I can read individual posts, and then I switched to snackr which is like a stock ticker. At this point, I don’t have the time in my day to keep up with the feeds I like, so I just don’t. But rss is great to keep track of lots of feeds. I just ended up with information overload.
Hi. I’m a Mac….
I collect my RSS feeds in Apple’s browser, Safari. It’s the best. I’m just saying…
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I agreed with you