RSS Feed

Subscribing to RSS Feeds from your Browser

Many blogs, including this one, have a little image that says “RSS” or has a little orange square with white arcs like this: RSS Feed Icon. Clicking on this link will subscribe you to the blog or page content on which it appears so you can read it in an RSS reader like NetNewsWire Lite.

Some blogs, like those hosted on Blogger, do not automatically show a feed link like this on the page unless the author has hand coded the HTML to display the image. Modern browsers provide an easy alternative for subscribing to any blog or web page that provides an RSS feed. At the right hand end of the address bar (where you type in a URL, an RSS icon appears if the page has an RSS feed. In Safari, it is a blue rectangle with “RSS” in white letters: Safari RSS Icon. In Firefox, it is the orange square icon: RSS Feed Icon.

Here’s a screen shot from Safari:
Safari Screen Shot showing RSS icon

and one from Firefox:
Firefox Screen Shot showing RSS icon.

So why should you care about any of this? Once you have subscribed to some RSS feeds, you can monitor them in your RSS reader and see previews like in e-mail. If you see a post that interests you, you can click on a link that will either open the post in your browser or in the reader itself. This lets you keep track of blogs and sites you have subscribed to without having your e-mail inbox flooded. You can choose when to go check your RSS reader based on your available time. E-mail typically requires timely response, so having less reading material hit your inbox is usually a good thing for productivity.

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