Skip to content

Subscribe (RSS)

Wait, What’s RSS?

It stands for “Really Simple Syndication,” and it saves you time! It’s a way to make sure you are notified anytime something new is posted at websites of interest to you (including this blog!), without you needing to remember to visit the websites to check for updates yourself. If you don’t use RSS, you should; why are you wasting your own valuable time, going out looking for the news, when you could make sure all the news comes to you?

RSS is also very easy to set up, and once you do it once, there’s nothing else you need to do to maintain your subscription. Read on for how to set up an RSS subscription in five minutes!

Already Know About RSS Subscriptions?

Great! Here is this blog’s Entries RSS page.

How To Set Up an RSS Subscription in 5 Minutes

Never really set up an RSS subscription before? Keep reading for a Really Simple explanation of how to set one up for this — or any — website in just moments.

Quick RSS Setup Instructions

If a site you’re visiting has an icon like this  RSS icon , then you can subscribe to its RSS feeds. Set up your RSS subscription based on how you prefer to read news:

Read New Posts In Your Email

Best for: Those always in their (organized!) email. But if you can never stay on top of your burgeoning Inbox, this is not the method for you.
Why: New posts look like unread messages, so you’re sure to see them.

Not all email programs offer RSS subscription capabilities. Follow the instructions below for Outlook 2007Mac Mail, or Gmail. If you need instructions for a program not included here, and it does offer RSS subscriptions, do a Web search for RSS and the name of your email program to get setup instructions.

Outlook

  1. From the Tools menu, choose Account Settings.
  2. Select the RSS Feeds tab to switch to it.
  3. Click “New”. The New RSS Feed dialog box pops up.
  4. Copy and paste the URL for the desired RSS feed — you get this from the site whose news you’d like to follow.
  5. Click Add. You’ll then be presented with some options to change delivery locations, etc. When you’re satisfied, click OK.
  6. Then exit out of the Account Settings screen.

Mac Mail

  1. From the File menu, select Add RSS Feeds…
  2. Select from any existing Safari RSS feeds or copy and paste the URL for the desired RSS feed — you get this from the site whose news you’d like to follow.
  3. Select whether you want the feed to appear in your Inbox or under a separate folder of RSS listings.
  4. From the Mail menu, choose Preferences.
  5. Select RSS.
  6. Select your default RSS reader, how often to check for updates, and how to remove read articles.

Gmail

  1. From the links in the upper right corner of the Gmail window, click Settings.
  2. In the Settings interface, select the Web Clips tab.
  3. On the left pane of the Web Clips window, in the field labeled “Search by topic or URL”: copy and paste the URL for the desired RSS feed — you get this from the site whose news you’d like to follow:
  4. Click Add to add it to your Gmail account.

Read New Posts In Your Web Browser

Best for: Folks who spend a lot of time online.
Why: All you need to do is click or mouse over to scan the headlines.

These instructions are for the latest versions of Firefox and Safari, but should be fairly accurate regardless of version. If your browser is not listed here, you may want to do a Web search for RSS and the name of Web browser to get setup instructions.

Firefox

  1. Anytime you’re surfing the Web and see something to which you’d like to subscribe, add the desired RSS feed to Firefox by clicking on the website’s RSS link (it will have the RSS icon RSS icon beside it) orby copying and pasting the URL for the desired RSS feed…

    …directly into Firefox’s URL address field at the top.

  2. Then click Subscribe Now. Firefox’s Add Live Bookmark dialog box will appear. You can choose to have headlines display in your browser’s Bookmarks dropdown menu (default selection), or in the Bookmarks Toolbar.
    • If you chose the Bookmarks dropdown menu: Anytime you’d like to check for updates, simply go to your Firefox Bookmarks and mouse over the title of the RSS feed (in this case, “mcswain-starrett.com”) and the latest headlines will appear.
    • If you chose the Bookmarks Toolbar: Make sure yours is turned on to display. From the View menu, select Toolbars, then Bookmarks Toolbar. Any RSS feeds you’ve bookmarked will then always appear across the top of your browser, just beneath the URL. Just mouse over the title for the latest headlines.

Safari

  1. Anytime you’re surfing the Web and see something to which you’d like to subscribe, add the desired RSS feed to Safari by clicking once on the website’s RSS link (it will have the RSS icon RSS iconbeside it) or by copying and pasting the URL for the desired RSS feed…

    …directly into Safari’s URL address field at the top.

  2. From the Bookmarks menu, select Add Bookmark to save the feed link.

Anytime you’d like to check for updates, simply click your mouse on the RSS feed title (in this case, “mcswain-starrett.com”) just under the browser’s URL field, and Safari will open the blog page in a text-only format with the latest post(s) right on top.

On a Mobile Device or Smartphone

Best for: Those always on the go.
Why: Quickly scan the headlines from anywhere while you’re out and about.

This one is very device-dependent. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, just go to the AppStore and search on “RSS.” There are lots of free ones to choose from, and after you set up your desired RSS subscriptions, they’ll even format the headlines for you, for easier reading on a tiny screen! There are RSS readers for Androids and BlackBerries, too.

Don’t have an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry? Then do a Web search to find out if any of the many free, downloadable applications for RSS will work with your type of mobile device.

On a Website with Other News Headlines, Aggregated Together

Best for: Folks who are accustomed to scanning key websites regularly.
Why: You need only visit one site, instead of many. And won’t even have to click a button if you make it your Web browser’s new homepage!

PageFlakes

You can set up your own personalized home page using a service like PageFlakes.

It allows you to personalize your home page for free, to include news headlines, sports scores, weather updates, movie screenings, recipes, or whatever else floats your boat. You can drag and drop your desired “widgets” around into the order you like, and this page will continually update itself with the latest info! You may add RSS feeds to your PageFlakes, too.

To do this:

  1. Set up a free PageFlakes account with a login and password. This enables you to access your PageFlakes from any computer and to be able to add customized RSS feeds from websites of interest to you.
  2. Click the Menu button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Then, in the left-hand navigation, click on the link that says Add RSS Feed (it will have the RSS icon RSS icon beside it).
  3. Beside the box marked Add Feed:copy and paste the URL for the desired RSS feed:

That’s it! Now, via RSS, the latest mcswain-starrett.com tips and resources will appear alongside all your other neat stuff on PageFlakes.

Other RSS Aggregators

There are lots of other aggregators out there—Yahoo! and Google both provide this service to their users, plus other popular providers of this service are Bloglines and FeedReader. Most of the setup for these is as easy as PageFlakes!

Whatever aggregator service you choose, remember: you may want to change your Web browser’s home page to be your new RSS aggregator, too.

Advertisements
2 Comments
  1. PTZ IP Camera permalink
    September 6, 2010 6:18 am

    Thanks for this! I’ve been searching all over the web for this.

Trackbacks

  1. If You’re Not Using RSS, You’re Wasting Your Own Valuable Time « mcswain-starrett.com

Comments are closed.