If you always wondered what that funny orange icon was on a blog page – now you know, a fried egg! No, really it’s an RSS feed (but I bet you never forget now you’ve seen the egg image!)
So what exactly IS an RSS feed?
It’s very useful tool for both writers and readers of blogs. What it does is automatically “feed” the latest contents of a blog out to the world. So, if you write a blog (and if you have a business presence online, I really hope you do!) your content is automatically being “fed” to whomever wants to receive it.
How to set up a Feed for your web/blogsite
Sign up for a free account at Feedburner – this is the place that acts as the “connection” for your posts to be distributed across the web.
- Add the URL for your web/blogsite.
- Remember to make it easy for readers to subscribe to your posts by clicking on “Publicize” and then “Email Subscriptions” to offer readers the choice of getting your latest updates straight into their email inbox (otherwise they read all the blogs they subscribe to in a Feed Reader – a site on the web where chosen content is collected).
- With WordPress there is a plugin that you can install to create an email sign up box that you can easily put into your site’s sidebar – making it even simpler for people to subscribe.
How to subscribe to an RSS feed
When you like a blog and want to be notified automatically of latest posts you need to subscribe to the RSS feed. Click on the RSS feed icon (the one that looks like the fried egg above!) which is often in the top right hand corner of the web/blogsite to sign up.
- You will be given the choice to sign up to read posts in a Feed Reader or receive posts my email (if the blog creator has enabled this option).
- The creator of the blog may have been kind enough to provide an email sign up box within their blog, in which case you simply enter your email and will be sent a confirmation email by Feedburner which you have to authorise.
- Hey presto, each and every new blog post will now arrive in your inbox.
Photo credit: Open Kitchen Espania