On the use and abuse of Technology and its Management from the perspective of an academic at UCL specialising in Project Management, Systems Engineering and Space Science/Technology.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Subscribing to feeds

You might have heard of RSS FEEDS, or Atom feeds, and wondered what they all are.

RSS and Atom allow you to simply subscribe to a weblog to receive new postings in what’s called a news aggregator or newsreader (NB not the same as software that gathers Usenet articles).

First get hold of an aggregator. I’d recommend setting up an account with Bloglines (it’s free and works on any machine with a web browser, and there's no software to install) – but if that's not to your taste there are many others.

If you’d like some step-by-step help then this ‘how to’ is perfect for a Bloglines beginner.

Then copy and paste the URL of the RSS feed (in this case of Double Loop: “http://loop2.blogspot.com/atom.xml”) into the appropriate box and click on ‘Subscribe’ (or ‘add’ or whatever looks best)..

Now you can check your aggregator the same way you can check email. Each time a new item is posted to this weblog you’ll be able to read it there.

What’s even better is that you can now use the aggregator to subscribe to as many weblogs and news sources as you like… for example if you like one site you will probably like some of the sites they are reading (typically listed down the right of any given blog), they all have RSS or Atom too.

In fact the Guardian has RSS feeds, so does the NY Times and so does the BBC. These links will tell you more about their feeds.

So when you turn on your aggregator it’s like you’re reviewing hundreds of sites to check for new content, all by visiting one place.

So what are you waiting for, get going… get a bloglines account (1 minute), subscribe to my RSS feed, check out the sites I’m reading, your favourite news sites, subscribe to them and you'll wonder how you managed before!

[If this text looks familiar, it's because I nicked it almost verbatim from Incorporated Subversion.]

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