What Is RSS And Why You Want It to Help You Research

What Is RSS And Why You Want It to Help You Research

Are there blogs and Web sites you go to often to look for updates? Wouldn’t it be great to have these updates come to you?

You can with a technology called RSS.

What is this? It appears as a funny little orange icon on a Web site you are visiting. It represents an RSS satisfy. Depending on whom you ask, RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, Ready for Some Stories or high Site Summary.

Next to this little button is often an invitation to “Subscribe to this satisfy.” When you click on the link you might find yourself staring at lot of computer code you may not understand.

What you are seeing is a computer language called XML, similar to HTML. All you need to know is that this is the language used to connect what you are reading with a link to your computer and any updates in the content.

The advantage of RSS is a time saver. Instead of having to scour Web sites to check for updates or weigh by another Google search, all you have to do is check your desktop RSS folder or open your RSS E-mail alert.

You can choose all the sites you want to get updates for and sign-up with them if they offer you the option to “Subscribe to this satisfy.”

The first thing you need to do is install an RSS “tool” or “satisfy Reader” on your system.

There are four types of satisfy Readers to choose from:

Desktop satisfy readers: With a desktop reader, you have an icon that sits on your desktop. Desktop readers to choose from include AmthetaDesk, RSS Bandit or BlogBridge.

Browser satisfy readers: Some browsers offer extensions that give this functionality. Popular readers like Firefox’s Live Bookmarks, in addition as Internet Explorer 8.

E-mail satisfy readers are easy to use. All your feeds come into your E-mail so you will need to be set up for this. Mozilla Thunderbird, Newsgator Inbox, or Google Alerts. You can tell these readers how often you wish to receive announcements.

Another popular option for those who use their smart phones more often than their computers if the mobile satisfy reader. Yahoo, Google and AOL all offer the option to get alerts.

The best way to begin is to choose and install a reader onto your system. Once you have that in place, go to a Web site or Blog you visit often. Chances are the site will have an RSS icon on the page.

Click the icon, choose where you want this information to live, such as a folder in your reader or in the case of Google Alerts, it will show up in your E-mail.

If you are a blog fan, there are several ways to find the blogs you like. You can go to Technorati ( http://technorati.com/ ) and do a blog search by typing in the subject. Technorati probably has the most extensive list online. You can also go to Google blog search and find blogs in their database. Almost all blogs have the RSS option obtainable. By linking up to the satisfy, you will be alerted every time there is an update.

You can also thin your search if you are not interested in an complete site but only interested in certain topics. Most sites will offer RSS feeds for various segments within the site. Another way to thin the search for a topic is to put quotation marks around the phrase. This is a handy way to thin any search on all search engines. For example, if you are a sports enthusiast and like a certain football team you will want to improve your search to “San Francisco Giants,” not San Francisco Giants. Without the quotation marks, your satisfy or search will separate the words and pour an ocean of information in your lap–most of which will be about everything but the San Francisco Giants.

Happy hunting.

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