Do you smile and nod when your friends talk about RSS–too embarrassed to ask for an explanation but never quite finding the time to go look it up?
Today’s your lucky day. I’m going to tell you what it is, how it can help you, and how to get it. I’m not even going to mention the smiling and nodding to your friends.
Here’s the technical answer but let’s face it, if you wanted a technical explanation, you’d have looked it up by now. The short answer is RSS makes it possible for you to see the updates for all the blogs you follow in one place, instead of visiting each of the sites individually. It saves time and energy and ensures you never miss another post from your favorite blogger.
To get started with RSS you need to choose a reader. There are several to choose from but to make it easy, let’s say you choose Google Reader. Just click the link, sign into your Google account, (register for one if you don’t have one yet) and you are all set.
Now it’s time to add some blogs. Look for the RSS symbol on the blog you’d like to add–it will look like the icon at the top of this post–only smaller. Some blogs won’t have the icon, but will have a text link that says “RSS-entries” or something similar. The RSS feed for most blogs is in the column on the right side of the page or at the very bottom. Sometimes bloggers also add a link to the top of the page to encourage you to subscribe.
Click the icon or link, choose “Google” or “Google Reader” from the list of available readers and then click “add to reader”. Next time you want to read the blogs you follow, go to www.google.com/reader, sign into your account and you’ll be all set.
Need new blogs to follow? First, don’t forget to follow me. Then check out some of my favorites in the column on the right side of the page. Feel free to share your favorites (yes, even your own blog) in the comments.