What is an RSS Feed?

Personal Finance Resources RSS FeedYou’ll notice that after every article on my page, as well as on the sidebar of this site, there is a link and icons inviting you to sign up for an RSS feed to this site. If you’re a newbie to the whole thing, and aren’t quite sure what an RSS feed is, or how great a tool it can be for you, then you are really missing out. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is just that, a really simple way to start receiving feeds from your favorite websites for all of your favorite content. Simply put, it’s like signing up for our mailing list, but even better. When one of your favorite websites’ post a new article to their site, you will receive an automatic, real time update of the article, saving you the time of going to each one of your favorite sites to see if anything is new. There are several different ways you can receive these feeds, and you get to choose whatever works best for you.  These are defined in more detail below.

First of all, all RSS feeds are collected by means of a feed reader. A feed reader is software which tracks the different feeds you have signed up for, and allows you to collect multiple feeds in one place or webpage. If you go to http://www.bloglines.com, you can sign up for a free account and have all of your RSS feeds come to that site for you to read at your discretion and in your own time.

Another way to read your favorite RSS feeds: If you’ll notice in the side bar, next to the big orange button, there are many other buttons such as “Add to Google”, “My Yahoo!”, “My AOL”, and “Newsgator”. By clicking on one of these buttons, you can have my RSS feed go directly into your favorite page, or whichever one you use the most. For example, my main email is Yahoo!, and therefore I would add the feed to My Yahoo!, so that whenever a new post was added to my favorite site, I can quickly look at my page and see if there is anything new.

Another great option, and one that I use personally is to receive feeds directly into your email account. To do this, simply click on the orange RSS feed button, and select “Get Personal Finance Resources delivered to my Inbox”, enter your email address and verification, and the feed will be delivered straight into your email. Most people check their email every day, and having it right there is a huge time saver. You can short cut this method by filling in your email address under the section in the sidebar of my website called “Subcribe by Email”.

RSS feeds are great, and quickly gaining in popularity. They mainly started with the blogging community, and its thought that they will really take off in the next few years. Now, instead of spending time surfing the internet,  people will discover the ease and efficency of having their favorite website’s deliver articles directly to them. 

6 thoughts on “What is an RSS Feed?

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