I feel a connection/sparked by a glance/your eyes/I want to talk to you/know you/but we are strangers/i look different/same within we remain #micropoetry by me, Julie.
Today, I'm happy to bring you a guest post from my online friend, Rainy. How you can find out more about her is at the bottom of this post. Please take a minute to visit her, say "hi" and thank her for her ideas.
After all, relax, read up and let's talk tech!
Feed is a service which allows a blog author to easily notify about blog updates. It is sometimes collectively called “RSS” or “Atom”, but that is mistaken. Those are actually different types of feed services. Regardless of what type of feed you use, the end result is the same.
People can subscribe to feed in numerous ways. They might use a service like Google Reader, which centralizes all their subscriptions online. Or they might use their smart phone, or even software which supports it, such as some e-mail clients.
Feed is also handy for syndicating. For example, the famous Technorati website utilizes blog feed to keep profiles updated. The popular Blogspot blog roll which shows the latest blog posts of links in its list also relies on feed. In fact, feed is working in the background more often than you might realize.
If you'd like to use feed to keep up on your favorite blogs, first decide what service you would like to use. Google Reader is a great place to start. Next, visit the blogs you wish to follow and look for their “Feed”, “RSS” or “Atom” option. The button usually has a “broadcasting” symbol. Copy that link into your reader and save it. Now you can visit the reader to see all the new blog posts for each blog you added, instead of visiting each website individually or flooding your inbox with newsletters.
If you'd like to add a feed option to your website, don't worry—it's easy! Most blog software has it built in. For example, at the bottom of a Blogspot blog, you will usually see a link that says “Subscribe to posts”. That's the feed. If you use Wordpress, the feed can usually be found by visiting www.yourdomain.com/feed/.
You can also use a free service like Feedburner. Just burn your feed once and follow the directions. You will not need to burn the feed with every update. Only once is necessary.
There is a few disadvantages with using feed. Most feed services do not have a counter of any kind, so there's no way of knowing exactly how many people are subscribed. Feedburner does count, but it's better to consider it to be approximate and not exact.
Also, just because you offer Feedburner doesn't mean everyone is using it. People who know how blog software works may opt to not use Feedburner and instead use the built-in one, which won't register anywhere. So, as with most things, it's probably better to rely on your hits counter than trying to track how many people are subscribed.
That aside, feed is an awesome service which makes life as both a blog author and blog reader much easier.
Do you use feed to follow blogs? What service do you use?
***When Rainy Kaye isn't plotting world domination, she enjoys coaching others about it on her blog http://www.rainyofthedark.com.
She also likes fluffy kittens.
**Credit: Thanks to Find a Kitten for this image.
Posted by Julie Friday, September 30, 2011