Help With Feeds

What is this feed thing everyone is talking about?

It’s a standardized format that lets you subscribe to a web site using a tool called a news reader or aggregator.

The orange XML and RSS buttons let you locate feeds in one quick glance.

Why should I care about feeds?

The reasons you should care about feeds reportedly are:

  • You want to be notified of updates from the many web sites that you read without visiting them one by one
  • You prefer to read your favorite web sites from one convenient location without any interface clutter

How do I subscribe to a feed?

It’s super simple. Log into MyMSN, MyYahoo!, Google Reader or Bloglines and click the relevant button (on the sidebar to the right). These four services are the only ones you really want to care about. The benefit of using them is two-fold:

  • A web-based service means your favorite feeds will remain available when you change computers
  • Search engines (will) provide tools to organize feeds by topic and relevance rather than by site and date

The drawback is of course your loss of privacy. If you dislike the idea that Google knows more about you than yourself, then start using a more relevant search engine like MSN or Yahoo! and either:

  • Try news readers one by one if you have time to waste; or
  • Download Firefox and install the Wizz RSS News Reader; or
  • Wait for the next version of Microsoft Internet Explorer — if it doesn’t feature a ‘Subscribe’ button, tip them to add me to their marketing team