Have you ever heard of RSS or seen the symbol   or even seen the statement “subscribe to our feed”

Well what is it?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, which basically is a set of web formats for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, blogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
If you already have a blog the chances are it is producing an RSS feed automatically already.

What are the benefits of RSS?

As a regular web user it allows you to keep up to date, retrieving the latest content from the websites or blogs sites you are interested in. It saves you time by removing the need to visit each site individually.

So how do you read an RSS feed?

Strangely enough you need an RSS Feed Readers or News Aggregators
Feed Reader or News Aggregator software will retrieve the contents from the RSS feeds from websites you choose and display them for you to read and use.
There are a number of RSS Readers available for PC, Macs, iphones/pads well most devices, way too many to display all of them.

What do I use I hear you ask.

Well I use Outlook 2007 to manage all of my email, my diary and contacts and it just so happens to have an RSS reader already built in. In web design things change all the time and there are always different opinions on how to succeed in Social media. I can keep up to speed with the latest new ideas.
If you have a Google account (Gmail, analytics etc) then just sign up for a free reader. It is dead simple. I like my Outlook setup as everything is in one place.
Once you have your Feed Reader setup, you just need to add the RSS feed to the list of feeds in your reader .Some sites will display the RSS logo (insert image) to show there is a feed available..

Here is a quick glance on how I would setup a feed in outlook.
Website http://blog.facebook.com/

Look at the URL- http://blog.facebook.com/atom.php

Now over to Outlook and right click on RSS feeds and add new feed

 

There is a folder in the RSS feed, similar to setting up folders to reorganize your email.

Now every time the Facebook blog is updated so too is this folder.

Again with The Chronicle Live

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/rss.xml

Now you can keep track of websites in your niche, competitors, news sites or whatever takes your fancy.

As you subscribe to more and more feeds and your Inbox fills so very quickly, you will start to understand the importance of post titles as you will start to skim read and just delete the ones that do not stand out.

Do you use RSS readers, if so which ones, do you have any tips that would help other readers of this blog?

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Vicki Stone Marketing is a marketing company in Newcastle that build some cool websites and helps SME’s with all aspects of marketing.