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Recent Comments

"This is a really interesting post, and one a lot of folks should consider when revealing their entire lives to Facebook. I saw this article on Friday May 20th, 2010 - in the Economist magazine. "Executives at Facebook met to decide whether they should simplify the 170 privacy options on the social-networking website amid growing unease about the public availability of users’ personal information." Here is a link to the full article. http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16167766 " Read more
by Neil on Facebook - Is Your Privacy At Risk?



Posted by: April Ettere on 11/10/2020 | 0 Comments

 I know you’ve seen those little orange thingies on websites. You know, it’s square and looks like it is emitting radio waves. Here is what one looks like:

What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically (i.e. blog postings, press releases, videos, podcasts, vblogs, etc). They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. If you are a person who regularly uses the internet to get information you’re probably very familiar with the value of an RSS feed. If you not that familiar.... read on!

Benefits of an RSS feed

Plain and simple - RSS makes it super easy to receive content automatically. The information can comes to you in your Outlook inbox, or in your “RSS Reader” - which may already be built into your web browser. An RSS Feed can streamline your “information gathering”. It can deliver information that is spam-free, and you don't have to provide your email address or personal information. You can also unsubscribe from the RSS Feed at any time. Additionally, the information you receive is the most current, you have total control of what you want to subscribe to and it will save you a huge amount of time surfing the internet.

Here’s an example of how it works

Jane has 10 different websites that she trusts to get factual, up-to-date information about her community, food prices, special sales, community events, etc. She uses this information to make both small and large decisions for her family and to stay “tuned in”. Instead of Jane going to each of those 10 websites individually and getting the information, she can use a Feed Reader. A Feed Reader (or aggregator) will combine multiple RSS Feeds into one browser or web page. MS Outlook, Google, and Web Browsers (like Internet Explorer and Firefox) offer RSS tools integrated right into their programs. Cool, huh? So now all Jane has to do is access her Feed Reader and she has content from all 10 websites in 1 place – and the feed comes in within minutes of being posted. Think of it as having 10 of your favorite magazines or newspapers delivered to your front door step, with ONLY the articles and information you are interested in. And NO ink stains from going through the pages.

Create Your Feed Reader

As mentioned earlier in this blog post, most web browser and email software offer an RSS reader built in or as an “add-on”. If you use Internet Explorer, the feed reader is built in. It can be found on the top menu under View > Explorer Bar > Feeds. In Microsoft Outlook, an RSS Feeds folder can keep all of your feeds in one place and it is located in your Mail folders. Likewise, Firefox has numerous “add ons” like RSS Ticker, Sage, Beatnik and BlogRovr that consolidate all of your feeds. Plus, Safari has an RSS reader built in that can be set up just like readers in Internet Explorer, Outlook and Firefox. If you are having trouble setting up your reader, you can either ask your grandchild for help (for the older crowd) or simply use the help menu.

News aggregation websites

There are many websites that combine news related information for you. Some examples are: Drudge Report, Google News, CNBC, Fox News, etc. It’s possible to find sites that even cater to a certain sector of the population – liberal, conservative, male, female, sports, agriculture, etc. All this being said, can you now see how beneficial a Feed Reader can be?

Are There Drawbacks of Feeds & Readers?

Of course. Some people may prefer to get email updates from their information sources. Sometimes images and graphics don’t get displayed in some Feed Readers. The identity of some RSS Feeds are hard to determine because the url address may not be the same as the website it is coming from. Further, not all websites offer RSS Feeds for their content.

To Feed Read or Not To Feed Read

The choice is yours. The internet and all of the associated applications and websites offer users a multitude of options to access information. Whether you like to read the newspaper or “surf the net”, choices abound that can both be informative and efficient. Your call.


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