What the heck is a web feed and why should I care?

EVERYTHING you’ve ever wanted to know about web feeds will be contained in this post. Okay. Not really but if you’re interested in staying better connected, keep reading.

All information is quoted from the Wikipedia entry on web feeds.

What is a web feed?

A web feed is a data format used for serving users’ frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it.

What are some of the benefits?

Users can be notified of new content without having to actively check for it. The information presented to users in an aggregator is typically much simpler than most websites. Media files can be automatically downloaded without user intervention.

How do I use a feed?

You need a feed reader—this is a tool like an email program. It’s like getting an email every time one of your subscriptions updates their content, except no email address is required. There are many feed readers—some are online (like a webmail account), some are offline (you download the program to your computer), some are free and some aren’t. Some examples include: My Yahoo, My MSN, Bloglines, Firefox (browser) Live Bookmarks, Newsgator.

How do I add feeds to my feed reader?

Click the relevant links (e.g. the “add to my Yahoo!” button, if you’re using My Yahoo!, Google too!) or copy-paste the link in to your feed reader. Sometimes there will be a button for your particular feed reader on the blog that will take you to the appropriate subscription page. Feed aggregators like FeedBurner are designed to help readers easily add new feeds (in a variety of formats) to their favored feed reader.

Site Feeds:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/GeekWithFibroids2 (this blog)
http://feeds.feedburner.com/CommentsForGeekWithFibroids (comments only)

Visit the feed links to find out more information.


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