In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added. But what if you could tell a website to notify you every time that they update? This is what RSS does for you.
RSS is a technology that provides you with a method of getting relevant and up to date information sent to you for you to read in your own time. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published.
The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re getting into reading sites via RSS is to hook yourself up with an RSS Feed Reader. A good place to start is with a couple of free and easy to use web based ones like Google Reader and Bloglines.
Both of these feed readers work a little like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update and can read it right there in the feed reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item – marking the last one as ‘read’.
The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and give it a go. Both have helpful help sections to get you up and running.