By Lisa Laughy - Library Web Services / Archives Assistant September 22nd, 2008
Lisa Laughy – Archives Assistant
It is likely that many of you are already aware of the organizational bonus a feed reader provides, but for those of you who have never heard of RSS, XML or ATOM, you may be missing out on a convenience that could change the way you browse online.
RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication, and is a way for websites like Ohrstrom Blog to syndicate online content. Subscribing to Ohrstrom Blog’s feed through a browser-based feed reader like Bloglines or Google Reader lets you know when there is new content available, eliminating the need of having to visit the site. Subscribing to feeds from all of your favorite sites in a feed reader provides a kind of one-stop-shopping convenience for getting information online.
The image above is a screenshot of the Bloglines interface. Once you set up a free Bloglines (or one of the many other feed reader) account you can start tracking your favorite blogs and news sites. A RSS subscription can be added by clicking a feed link on a blog or website. Most sites use some form of this RSS icon to identify their feed, but there are a number of different ways to subscribe, including entering a web address directly into the feed reader. There are several subscription options available for Ohrstrom Blog included in the “Have a Chicklet” list in the sidebar on the left.
In Bloglines, your subscriptions are listed on the left side of the screen, and the title and synopsis of the new blog content is listed on the right. The RSS feed from Ohrstrom Blog contains images and the full text of the blog post. You can use your feed reader to scan the latest posts from Ohrstrom Blog, read the complete text, or click through to the actual entry in its fully formatted state on the Ohrstrom Blog. Other feed readers function in the same basic way, it is just a matter of personal preference which reader you use.
Find yourself a feed reader and then subscribe to the Ohrstrom Blog feed by clicking the “Subscribe” link in the header, or by using one of the chicklets in the sidebar list. Then you will have an easy time keeping an eye out for the upcoming posts on RSS and feed readers during the next few weeks.
For an extensive list of feed readers available click HERE.