So what is this whole blogging thing about, anyway? In short, blogs are a way to share your thoughts and feelings with the world. Some blogs use a shotgun approach and talk about a wide range of topics, others go into great detail about a single topic. Good blogs tend to be updated regularly, though not necessarily every day. Regardless, blogs are a way for people to communicate their interests and allow the readers to respond and dialogue about those thoughts.
Blogs work just like regular web pages so all you really need to read a blog is a web browser. Just enter the address in your browser and the blog appears just like other websites. This is fine if you only read a few blogs, but it quickly can become difficult to keep up with things when there are 15, 20 or even just 5 active blogs that you check. Anticipating this problem, blogs were created using a technology known as Really Simple Syndication, or RSS for short. Every blog has an RSS Feed that special programs can view and automatically download the newest posts into one location. This allowed for people to read many blogs without having to go to all of the blogs individually. These program are known as Feed Readers.
Using a Feed Reader
There are many different Feed Readers available online. A quick Google Search for the terms brings up many different options. Some are web-based like Google‘s own Reader, Bloglines, or My Yahoo. Others are stand-alone programs that you download such as Feed Reader, which allows you to have the content downloaded to your computer so you don’t have to be online to read the articles. Using a Feed Reader is a great way to stay on top of many different blogs, but choosing one can be overwhelming. I recommend Google Reader as it’s easy to use and they even have instructions for adding a bookmark to your browser to allow you to subscribe to a feed when you go to a website. You’ll need a Google account to use Reader, but they are free to get, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Check out the video below for everything you wanted to know about RSS in plain English.