Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What's This?

OK. You may be wondering what that little thingy with the number is all about. I'll try to lay it out real easy-like for some of the less technical members of the class. (Hi Doug!)


The link above is to my site “feed”. {We’re not talking food here, put down the cookie.}

A site feed is nothing more than a broadcast or notification that the site has been updated and what the new stuff is on it. I’m sure there is some amazing technology behind it, but I don’t care all that much. All I need to know to use the technology is that it works.

What do you do with a feed? {I said put the cookie down!} You subscribe to it.

But before you can subscribe to a feed you have to have a place to stick it. Computers are such structured little things. Unlike newspapers, you can’t just toss your feed anywhere (the driveway, the porch, under the sprinkler). You could think of it like needing a cable box to get TV reception. The signal (feed) is out there, but unless you have some place to stick it, it is kinda hard to enjoy.

So where do you stick it? This part is going to sound a little technical, but don’t be scared. What you need is something called a feed “aggregator.” That’s just a fancy word that I’m going to replace with the term “reader.”

There are several good feed readers out there with all kinds of different features. Me, I use Bloglines because it is on the web and I can go to the same place to get my feeds no matter what computer I am sitting at. Signing up with them is very easy. Even you can do it! Go ahead. Try.

If you are feeling frisky, you can check out what Wikipedia has to say about aggregators (I’m sorry I promised to call them readers). Also here is their aggregator list for more options if simple isn’t quite your cup of tea.

Once you have your feed reader set up then you can click on the feed links like the one I have above on web sites that you want to keep up with. {Would you believe those little icon graphic link thingies are called “chicklets”? I think there is a serious food fixation issue in the computer industry!} Then, every time a site you are interested in updates your reader will be notified right away.

Whenever it is convenient you can go to one place and read to your heart’s content without having to look through all those favorite bookmarks and stuff. It’s sort of like strapping on a feed bag, but with fewer cookies. And you don't have to waste all that time clicking through your favorites looking to see if they've gotten around to updating or not. Now you can get back to work, spend less time slacking on the internet and still not miss anything!

There you have it. So go ahead, subscribe to my feed. You know you want to. Besides, that way I won’t have to keep staring at that frustrating grammar irritant “1 Readers”. No, I'm not vain. Honest.

UPDATE: If you're still not sure about the whole RSS feed idea but want to get updates from me every day, you can subscribe via email by entering your address here:

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Doug McGarity said...

Very funny. (You DO recognize sarcasm, don't you?)

Chris Cree said...

Sarcasm? Isn't that an artificial sweetener?