My photo
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, United States
A guy finding out if life really does begin at 50.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

RSS feeds

You might have seen this type of logo on various sites and sort of wondered what it was. Basically the logo means the sites content is available in xml form. Think of xml as web site content that is 'computer readable.' That's a gross simplication but it's good enough for now. Why is a web site that is designed to be read by people (such as this blog) also available as computer readable? So you can read the output that the computer (actually software) created from the input RSS feed.

The output of the 'Reader' will allow you to just read what you want from all the web sites (and blogs) you are interested in. Saves you gobs of time. Here is a really good (and fast) video that explains it way better than I can.

I use Google Reader. It's free and if you have a blogger id (aka Google Account) you can just click 'My Account' and click Reader and you'll be already to start doing RSS feeds. Go here if you don't have a Google Account and get one. They are free. Yahoo also has a Reader. Some of my readers already know and are using a Reader (you PW readers know who you are). Something I learned in my 30+ year career with IBM is don't just assume everyone knows (what those acronyms mean).

I've known about RSS feeds for a couple years. But I never really cared enough to set up a reader. But since I retired and started blogging and reading other blogs I got to the point it was getting to be a chore to visit each site and check for new content. So since I found I already had access to Google Reader I set it up this week.

Being retired is A LOT of work. And I'm way behind on stuff. I still have not bloged about my Florida trip which was like 3 weeks ago! Not to mention I'm like 300 pages into that book! I might yet finsh it.


Major Mom said...

I have a account for my RSS feeds. It's cool -- I can get weather forecasts, watches, warnings (both tropical and tornado/severe thunderstorm), ads for houses we were interested in in Omaha, news of course and my e-mail accounts. I even have a shopping list and a honey-do list on the site, so if Dave needs me to add something to the shopping list, he just has to log into and add the item.

Ideally, that's how it's supposed to work.

Major Mom said...

Okay, Patricia-the-geek set up a Google Reader to see if it's better/worse than MyAOL. There are definitely pluses and minuses to each. Your blog is of course one of my feeds :-)