Before I even get started on this I do want to say that I am hardly the authority on this stuff, there are bloggers out there and websites out there that have a lot more information about why you should use an RSS feed reader. In addition to that my own experience with feed readers is very limited, the truth is I never even used one until about two weeks ago and I have only tried one RSS feed reader, which means there are all kinds of feed reader options. Ok, one last disclaimer before I get going here, also the information contained in this article is based on using the Firefox Browser, if you use Internet Explorer or some other browser you will have to do a little bit more research about the RSS Feed Reader add ons available for your internet browser.
A lot of you are wondering why I would post an article on something that I don’t have a tremendous amount of experience with, and the pro bloggers are probably wondering where I get off thinking I have the right to talk about RSS feeds. The reason I decided to post this article is because my own personal experiences, limited as they might be are excellent with switching the way I surf the web. Using a feed reader has taken hours of visiting sites that don’t have updated content and turned it into a very effecient and enjoyable process that I think everyone should at least know about, even if they don’t use it.
What is an RSS Feed?
Information from Wikipedia
RSS (most commonly translated as “Really Simple Syndication”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator”, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. more..
How do I add an RSS Feed to my Feed reader?
If you use Feedly (info below) subscribing to your favorite blogs RSS feed is simple, there is a + image that is placed in the Firefox toolbar, you click it and it asks you what category you would like to add the site to, and bam your done. If you do not use a Feedly feed reader you can always click on the RSS feed subscription image that you see on a site that you like and it will give you the options for subscribing to that RSS feed, of course the site must have an active RSS feed for this to work. Don’t sweat it just about every blog you probably visit has an RSS feed.
Here is a sample of my RSS feed image, which is located at the top of the right hand colum on my site. Clicking on the image below will show you my RSS feed.
FEEDLY RSS Feed Reader for Firefox
Feedly is a Firefox add on that tracks the RSS feeds of your favorite blogs, when Feedly recognizes a feed has been updated it adds that updated blog article to your Feedly. Any unviewed articles will stay inside of your Feedly until you read them or delete them, when you open Feedly it will display the most recent updated articles from your favorite blogs in a magazine style layout. Each article shown in Feedly has a short sample of the new article, which can easily click to see the full article or even preview the full article right in your Feedly feed reader.
Here is a sample of the Feedly RSS Feed reader Cover view, this would of course show links to your favorite articles with any sample pictures from the article itself, very handy for only visiting the sites that you know added new content and very handy for zipping past the articles that you don’t want to read. Please keep in mind that Feedly offers many different views, I just used the Cover view for this example.
Once you click on an article feedly places a nice little navigation image on the bottom right of your internet browser, this allows you to click “NEXT” and automatically load up your next unread article. Trust me when I tell you, if you have never used a feed reader and you constantly surf the web or better yet have limited time to surf the web, this feature alone will save you a tremendous amount of time. No flipping through tons of Bookmarks or typing in countless website address’s only to find out they didn’t post that sexy picture your looking for or better yet that article about making money that you love to read every week. Big time, time saver for anyone that has a few favorite websites.
5 Reasons for Bloggers to use a Feed Reader
- Increase your networking ability while reducing the time it takes to network
- Huge time saver! if you are growing your traffic chances are you are commenting on other blogs a feed reader makes this process fast and easy
- Don’t upset your network by not returning the comment love, you can easily subscribe to blogs in your network and comment on any new article they post
- Stay organized by putting the feeds you follow into categories, very handy when your looking for new blogger tips and want to save the Twitter or WordPress articles for later
- Specifically, Feedly offers a handy search feature that can keep you up to date with the latest news and trends all in one place, oh yeah it also tells you which of your friends on Twitter are tweeting about whatever it was you searched
5 Reasons for Blog Readers to Subscribe to RSS Feeds
- Save time, surf your favorite sites faster
- Frustration and let down free, no visiting sites that haven’t update in weeks just to be let down
- Stay informed, when your not so favorite blog updates be one of the first to know right in your feed reader
- Be a fan, amateur and pro bloggers work hard on their blogs to try and offer up something you might like, show them you like their blog by subscribing to their feed and going back when they update
- Share it, many feed readers offer excellent article sharing options so if you see some hot new lip gloss you think Candy might like you can share it quick and easy
Like I said when I started this article out, I am hardly a pro at this kind of stuff but I am more than willing to share the information I know and how I feel about something, RSS feeds save time and make life much easier. There are mutual benefits to using RSS feed readers, regardless if you are a weekly or daily blog reader or a webmaster. In my honest opinion a blogger looking to grow their blog traffic or comment base would be insane not to use a feed reader, I think it is an extremely important tool in building solid long term relationships within your online community.
Before I get out of here for the night I wanted to say thanks to everyone that came through the site on Sunday, it was the busiest Sunday ever on Extreme John.com and it wouldn’t have been without you cruising through. I had a great day at the office, minus one of the limos being left a filthy disaster by one of the drivers, I took pictures I plan on sharing in a few days. Im going to get out of here for now and see if I can try to beat this Insomnia tonight and get some sleep, today was super productive and I would love to make tomorrow the same way.
Oh yeah before I forget!!! Damn this is good news too, anyone tanning in the Tampa Bay area or looking for a Tanning Salon in Florida needs to check out Extreme Tan and Smoothies, we have some excellent specials going on Tuesday June 30th. Some of the tanning specials include Tan for the Rest of the Year for Only $96, tan in any upgraded tanning bed at any Extreme Tan and Smoothies salon for Only $50 a month! Give your local Extreme Tan a call and get the scoop on all of the specials, there’s more but it’s 2:15am and I don’t feel like typing anymore, plus I like keeping you in some kind of suspense! Get into Extreme Tan and Smoothies TODAY!!