Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to Stay Up to Date on One of a Kind Gifts

What is RSS?

All the technology lingo out on the web can sometimes get confusing. So to help you understand how to use the subscription process, I thought the explanation from the blog Problogger says it best. Ive listed the main points, but you can read the entire article on his site if you like.

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas posted on One of a Kind Gifts but don't want to have to check back constantly to see when new posts have been added?
We have a number of ways that you can "subscribe" to this site and receive updates. The main one that most readers use is an RSS feed. RSS is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites. What if you could tell a website to let you know every time that they update? In a sense, this is what RSS does for you. RSS is a technology that provides you with a method of getting relevant and up to date information sent to you for you to read in your own time. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published. RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to. It’s like subscribing to a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.

How to Use RSS

Get an RSS Reader - The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re getting into reading sites via RSS is to sign up with an RSS Feed Reader. A good place to start is with a couple of free and easy to use web based ones like Google Reader and Bloglines. Either one will do if you’re starting out. Both of these feed readers work a little like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update and can read it right there in the feed reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item - marking the last one as ‘read’. The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and give it a go. Both have helpful help sections to get you up and running. Note: other options to tracking websites that you might already be familiar with include using pages like MyYahoo, MyGoogle and MyMSN.

Find Some Feeds to Subscribe to - there are two places to look for a site’s feed:

1. On the Site

2. In Your Browser
On Site Subscription

Over the last few years you may have noticed a lot of little buttons and widgets appearing on your favorite sites and blogs. Little orange buttons, ‘counters’ with how many ‘readers a blog has, links called RSS, XML, ATOM and many more.
They come in all shapes and sizes.

Any time you see any of these buttons or anything like them it means that the site you are viewing almost certainly has a feed that you can subscribe to. In most cases it’s as simple as either copying and pasting the link associated with the button into your RSS Reader or clicking the button and following the instructions to subscribe using the feed reader of your choice.

Browser Subscription

Many internet browsers now have the ability to find and subscribe to RSS feeds built right into them.
When you surf to a site you can usually tell if it has an RSS feed by looking in the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL. You will see a little orange box like the picture at the top of this post, or little RSS letters, or a similar icon. Click that and you’ll be locating One of a Kind Gifts's RSS feed. Other modern browsers will have similar icons. To quickly and easily subscribe by clicking these icons you’ll want to set up your browser to do it with your feed reader of choice as by default they will probably subscribe you using the in-browser reader. You can do this by going to the ‘preferences’ to your browser and choosing ‘Google Reader’ or ‘Bloglines’ etc as your feed reader. Once you’ve done this and have subscribed to a few feeds you’ll begin to see unread items in your Feed Reader and you can start reading.

Don’t want to Use an RSS Reader? Email is an Option

If the above explanation all just seems a little too complicated for you then please don’t worry. Many sites also enable you to subscribe to RSS feeds via a more familiar medium - Email.
Here at One of a Kind Gifts I know that not everyone is into the RSS thing so at the top of the right hand sidebar there is a field where you can enter your email address and get an email with a summary of our latest posts. You can unsubscribe at any time and your email will be kept private and not used for any other purposes than to send these daily updates. If you have any questions on how to subscribe to our site, feel free to send us an email. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to One of a Kind Gifts via RSS

1 comment:

  1. I want a cute sign off tag! How do I get me one?



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