What is a RSS Feed?
The acronym RSS stands for a couple things. The most helpful as far as a clear explanation of what it’s for is “Real Simple Syndication.”
RSS is a technology that allows you to subscribe to any website that has this orange symbol in the address bar. You can then track every site you’re subscribed to without having to go to each individual site.
If there are a couple websites that you love to read. Without RSS, you would be looking at these sites regularly to see if there is new material. Depending on how often you checked, you wouldn’t see anything new most times you visited. With RSS, you never again have to go to a site that has no new material. You subscribe to the sites you enjoy and am updated every time they post.
Check out this video for a great explanation of what RSS is all about.
Five Reasons to get a RSS Feed Reader
1. You never miss a blog post from your favorite sites.
Once you subscribe to a feed, your feed reader will make sure that you see every new post from that feed. Whether you want to read your websites once a week, once a day, or every ten minutes, any unread items will be saved for you.
2. You can scan a ton of articles quickly.
When using a feed reader, you can quickly filter through the articles that you don't want to read. When surfing the web, you have to shuffle through different interfaces, type in web addresses, and surf bookmarks. This takes a ton of time. It’s much better to have the content you want delivered to you than to have to go find it every time you get online.
3. Melting-pot learning.
One of the great side-effects of using a feed reader is that you begin to learn about various memes in a melting-pot fashion, where ideas flavor each other. You'll learn new ideas over time, and understand the relationships between them.
4. You can save articles for later.
Feed readers allow you to save articles to read for later. In Google Reader, you can put a star next to items you like and come back later to read them in full. You can also tag articles and search for them later.
5. You're always up to date with the Parkside posts
Whenever news or announcements are posted you won't miss out! We realize that most people aren't surfing the PKS website everyday, so this way you won't miss out on important announcements and updates. Click on the RSS logo at the top of the page to subscribe to our RSS feed.
How to set up a RSS Reader using Google Reader
If you’re not a current RSS-user and would like to be, by the end of this article you will have everything you need to begin. In order to do that, you need to pick one feedreader to show you how to use. (”Feedreaders” are the programs that people use to collect and manage their RSS subscriptions.)
We have chosen to use Google Reader for 3 reasons:
1. It’s free and available to everyone no matter what computer or browser you use.
2. It is by far the most popular feedreader that’s out there right now. Google subscribers are between 35-40% of the readership. The next most popular feedreader only claims about 5% of readers.
3. It’s really easy to use, so let’s get started.
Setting Up Google Reader
1. Create a Google account.
2. Go to Google Reader and make sure you’re signed in.
Adding a Subscription in Google Reader
1. Select “Add Subscription” from the left column.
2. Type in the address of a blog you want to subscribe to and click “Add.”
Adding a Subscription from Elsewhere Online
1. When you are visiting a site that you want to subscribe to, click on the orange icon in the address bar or on a link provide on the site.
2. On either page, select Google as the reader you want to subscribe with.
3. On the first page, you will need to click “Subscribe Now.”
4. On either page, choose “Add to Google Reader.”
You’re All Set! As you poke around in Google Reader you’ll find more nifty ways to improve your RSSing. But for now, you should have what you need to go on a wild subscription binge.