Feeds are a good way to read all of your favorite blogs and websites in one place. There are a lot of different types of feeds (xml, atom, rss, etc.) but fortunately, with today's technology, it isn't really necessary to understand all of the "techie" part of that in order to enjoy using feeds. Today, we'll talk about how you can use feeds to enhance your reading experience, and tomorrow we'll talk about what you need to do to enhance the reading experience of your readers who use feeds.
Get a Feed Reader
First, you're going to need a place to read your feeds. I like Google Reader, or here's a list of the more popular feed readers. Whichever one you choose, you'll need to sign up for an account, and follow the directions for setting up the reader. Make sure your feed reader is web-based (and does not require a download to your computer), so you can read your feeds anywhere.
Gather Your Feeds
What feeds? This part is easy - just go to your favorite blogs and websites, look for the little orange squares (see right), and add the feed url (web address) to your feed reader. If you can't find the feed, oftentimes you can simply enter the url (web address) of the website and your feed reader can find the feed url for you.
Read your Feeds
Now, instead of having to visit each of your favorite websites or blogs every day, you can now just go straight to your feed reader. Some sites will allow entire articles to be published in feed readers, some just post titles or titles and excerpts. You may need click on the titles of your posts in the feed reader to view the entire articles, or to view videos.
Tomorrow, we'll discuss how you can optimize feed readers as a webmaster or blogger.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.