Friday, February 18, 2005

What's this RSS/Atom stuff about and can it help me?

Have you ever wished that you didn't have to check your friends blog everyday to see if they updated? Wouldn't it be nice to read all of your friends blogs in the same place in the same format? Do you want to easily find that really cool post that your friend made about how to do Site Feeds last week? Do you have a friend that has a blog that you would read if it wasn't for the terrible colors they've chosen for there site? Do you want more love in your life? Then Site feeds is for you! (even though it won't help that much with the last one)

If you're willing to spend just a little bit of set up time then you'll save a lot of time reading blogs. Here's what you do:
  1. go to Bloglines and sign up
  2. Then to add a blog you just enter in the user name of the person you want in the right field (circled below). Or you can just copy and paste their site address into the search box (arrow)
  3. Next you'll want to preview the blog you've just chosen, just to make sure you didn't type something wrong, then hit the back button and then 'subscribe'. Continue to add other blogs until you're satisfied.
  4. You can now read your feeds just by clicking on a blog under 'my feeds'. The new posts will show up in the frame to the right. If you'd like to look at some old posts you can select a time frame to display.
  5. You can organize you feeds by clicking on the edit link in the frame to the left if you'd like. When you're done don't forget to hit 'finished'.
  6. You can also add blogs to your page by looking at my blogroll
  7. Ok so now whenever you go to you can read all your blogs from one spot. But how do I know if one of my friends blogs has been updated without going to bloglines? Well, you can just download a notifier. I downloaded the one for Firefox, but they have one for IE too. It is the little blue B in the corner of my browser window:
  8. The little red dot means that one of my friends has updated their blog and I should go read it.
So I hope that makes your life easier, if you have any questions you can leave comments here or just email me.

My good friend Jonas just the other day was asking me how to do rss in sage. Sage works well, but not quite as well as bloglines does. Wouldn't hurt to check it out, if you want to have a non-online news agrigator.


Indeterminacy said...

Just wondering, what happens if the blogger whose site feed you're signing up for is a chronic improver, always changing the posts. Do you get those changes? Or does the thing notify everytime the post is republished? And is there any way to find out how many people receive the site feed? I'd like to set this up for myself but I'm still not sure how it all works.

GodsMoon said...

So after doing some research and testing I have some answers.
1. If they are a chronic improver: then you should punch them in the face for not getting it right the first time.... I mean since Bloglines only checks for updated feed once an hour, you will only be updated hourly at most. The update will only affect the post you have already received (it wouldn't be a new post just an updated old one). And lastly if they are really annoying than you can block them from 'being new' in your notifier. I do this for all of my news site subscriptions because they update so often (BBC posts new stuff all the time).
2. Setting up and counting them:
Well if you have a blogger blog then you already have a site feed (if that box is checked in settings, which in Indeterminacy's case is yes). You can visited you site feed at However, blogger does not provide a way get any stats on your feed at all. You can however get some limited stats if you use FeedBurner uses you existing feed and supes it up a little, makes it both RSS and Atom compatible for example. And FeedBurner will tell you how many people (doesn't ID them unfortunately) read your feed through FeedBurner. I hope that answers some of your questions. And by the way, the idea behind your blog is really cool. I give you props.

Indeterminacy said...

Thanks for that comprehensive answer. I feel like I know what it's about now.