In today’s ever-changing digital playground we are constantly faced with the issue of information overload. With access to up-to-the-minute internet news, we are constantly looking at ways to manage this information deluge. There are many different forms of content being shared around the internet but for this post, we focus on RSS Feeds.

What is RSS and Should You Even Care

What is RSS and Should You Even Care

So What in the World is RSS?

In the article below from NetForBeginners.About.com they explain, in great detail, everything you need to know about RSS:

Question: RSS – What is ‘RSS’?

If you are an “Information Junkie”, then RSS is perfect for you.

Answer: “RSS” is about getting live web feeds directly to your computer. RSS takes the latest headlines from different web sites, and pushes those headlines down to your computer for quick scanning.The acronym RSS stands for many versions of the same thing.

read more at netforbeginners.about.com

For those who would rather watch a video explaining what RSS is, look below 🙂

Now Give Me Reasons Why I Should Use RSS Feeds?

There are plenty of reasons why and the team from CopyBlogger sum it up nicely in the article below:

Good questions. First, here’s why you should care.

Unlike getting website updates or ezines by email, RSS feeds give you absolute, 100% complete control over the situation.

You don’t have to reveal your email address. If you want to stop receiving content, you don’t have to request to be “taken off the list.”

One click, and poof… the subscription is gone.

read more at copyblogger.com

The function of RSS feeds makes it so much easier to keep up with your favorite sites updates. Far better than the old “Bookmarking” method which has some serious flaws as explained in the article below by ProBlogger:

In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added.

The problems with bookmarking

  • You as the web surfer had to do all the work
  • It can get complicated when you are trying to track many websites at once
  • You miss information when you forget to check your bookmarks
  • You end up seeing the same information over and over again on sites that don’t update very often

read more at problogger.net

Now this leads us to the final question…

How Does One Use an RSS Feed?

Now that we know what it is and why it’s used. We have perfect reasons to use RSS feeds. Let’s take a look at how we can use them to our advantage.

First, we must know what we are looking for…

Most sites, correction, EVERY site wants you to follow them in some manner, shape or form so it makes sense for them to have an RSS feed somewhere.

blackbeech-rss-feedFor example, here at BlackBeech, you can find our RSS feed link in our social links.

If you find a site that doesn’t have some indication of where the feed is, try looking at the footer (bottom of the site). Sometimes it’s there alongside the social icons.

If you still can’t seem to find it then you can try putting “/feed” without the quotes, after the URL. “blackbeech.co.nz/feed” for example.

Once you have found the RSS feeds you want now you need some way of reading them.

All About Feed Readers

There are many ways to use an RSS feed. The most common way is by using a feed reader. There are many to choose from and there are a lot of free options.

Free Reader List:

  1. Digg Reader
  2. Feedly
  3. CommaFeed
  4. FeedReader Online
  5. FlowReader

All of these Feed Readers will allow you to mix different feeds together to make one big feed. This is great when you are interested in a specific industry and follow many authoritative leaders.

My personal favorite is Feedly. Has been for a long time and I’m one of those ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” types. If you don’t want to use a Feed Reader you can always get updates via Email. It couldn’t get any easier!

So there you have it…

Equipped with knowledge go forth and read the feeds of many (including ours)!

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My name is Beau Michaels and I am the owner BlackBeech. We are a New Zealand based Web Solutions company currently working out of Blenheim, Marlborough. It is our goal to offer businesses the opportunity to harness the power of the internet and incorporate this form of marketing into their new and existing business.