The simplest introduction to RSS ever…

As part of my whole playing with the design I figured that I wanted to add a ‘what’s this’ thing next to my RSS / Atom feeds and mentioned it briefly here.

Well, have given that a bit of a re-write and it now lives next to the ‘subscribe’ tag on the sidebar as a rather odd looking linked question mark (am not sure whether this is clear enough for those new to RSS but hope so). It links to this page which I’m hoping I can refine and play around with until it’s the simplest, most straightforward guide to what RSS is and how you can subscribe to stuff through it, ever.

So, here’s the complete text, what do you think? If anyone has a parent or a some colleagues they could try it out on I’d be hugely appreciative! I just want something that’s short, sweet and straightforward… do you think a diagram would help?

“RSS and Atom allow you to simply subscribe to this weblog to receive new postings in what’s called a ‘news aggregator’.

To do this first you need an aggregator, I’d recommend setting up an account with Bloglines (it’s free and works a treat!) – here are some others.

Then copy and paste the URL of my RSS feed (in this case: “”) into the appropriate box and click on ‘Subscribe’ (or ‘add’ or whatever looks best).

Now you can check your aggregator the same way you can check email. Each time a new item is posted to this weblog you’ll be able to read it there.

What’s even better is that you can now use the aggregator to subscribe to as many weblogs and news sources as you like… for example if you like this site you will probably like some of the sites I’m currently reading (listed down the right of this blog), they all have RSS or Atom too.

In fact the Guardian has RSS feeds, so does the NY Times and so does the BBC. (these links will tell you more about their feeds)

So when you turn on your aggregator it’s like you’re surfing hundreds of sites to check for new content, all by visiting one place.

So what are ya waiting for, get going… get a bloglines account (1 minute), subscribe to my RSS feed, check out the sites I’m reading, your favourite news sites, subscribe to them and I guarantee you’ll never look back!”

4 replies on “The simplest introduction to RSS ever…”

  1. Yeh, that (unfortunately) requires a WP log-in in order to edit, rather than something simple / built in with the comments system.

    1.5 has a fantastic ‘Pages’ applicatiion that allows you to simply create a content page, that could have an edit function applied to it soooooo easily I reckon.

    The key would be figuring how to block the inevitable spam… am sure that this comment form could be used as a login, somehow, also you can give a page a password… so providing an ‘editing’ password would be a pretty cool / easy way round that too.

    Perhaps worth putting in a WP request.

    Cheers, James

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