What is RSS?

I’ve been asked by a few folks what the funny looking blue icon on my front page was all about. So, let’s take a break from lean and six sigma and talk about the wonders of RSS.

The Good Old Days

In the old days when we wanted to keep tabs on our favorite websites we had to bookmark or favorite them. The problem with this is it required you to manually go to each and every bookmark to see if something had been updated.

RSS changes this. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and will change the way you follow your favorite website or blog.

How it Works

When you add your favorite website or blog into your RSS reader, all you have to do is sit back and let it tell you when new content has been added to your favorite website or blog… simple as that!  New content will normally be in bold much like a new email is in your inbox.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is get a reader. Personally, I use InoReader (it’s free).

Next, it’s time to add your favorite sites into the reader. The easiest way to do this is to look for the orange feed icon on the website in question. Once you find it you just click it and choose the applicable reader you use.

Email Updates

Some folks prefer to keep track of things via email in which case you can also sign up for updates via email. Many websites and blogs, including LSS Academy, have an email subscription link right on the front page. You simply type your email address in and you’re done. To avoid any funny business you normally have to confirm your subscription.

Now, let’s practice

As we know, to learn something we must do something. So, if you are not using RSS today why don’t you give it a shot? You can practice a few ways:

  1. Enter your email address (top right side of page) in order to receive updates from LSS Academy via your email. You can always unsubscribe later.
  2. Sign up for a free reader and then click on the blue button (right above email section) to subscribe to LSS Academy that way.

Be Careful

When I first started using RSS I subscribed to around 80 blogs and websites.  That was far too many for me.  As of today, I have 18 sites I follow via RSS.

2 Comments

  1. John Hunter

    February 17, 2008 - 2:27 pm

    One tactic I use is the tagging that Google Reader allows. I have several topics I watch regularly with several blogs each. But, also I have a couple where I just have blogs that seemed interesting and I want to keep tabs on – then I can keep up with my core blogs without being overwhelmed. But also I have a larger group I track and can easily look through when I have a bit of time.