Can you identify the items in the picture above?

The vast majority of people know the black and white critter on the left is a penguin.  But a lot of people do not know what the orange thing (RSS icon) is on the right, even though they may see it frequently on websites.RSS icon

That orange icon (one of many different icons) indicates than an RSS feed is available on the website.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary and allows website content to be syndicated.  Similar to the way Tivo records your favorite TV shows, an RSS feed reader can receive and hold new content from all of your favorite websites in one place, for easy viewing at your convenience.

Why should you use RSS?

If you want to follow a blog, new product feed, or news updates from a website, instead of checking the website regularly you can subscribe to the website RSS feed and have new content delivered to your RSS feed reader or email box (such as Outlook) automatically.    RSS feeds are not just for blogs.  Think of how much easier it is to follow certain categories on Ebay or Craig’s list if updates arrive magically on your doorstep.  Unlike newsletter subscriptions, you don’t have to submit your email address or personal information to the website.  RSS is a pain free way to get your favorite content delivered easily and efficiently.

How to subscribe to an RSS Feed:

  1. Download or set up a free RSS Feed Reader.  There are a lot of options when it comes to RSS Feed Readers.  (Google Reader recently shut down but a crop of alternative RSS feed readers have emerged).  My favorite feed reader is Feedly because of  its clean and simple interface and customization abilities.  You can check out the Feedly Tutorial to set up your own Feedly account.
  2. Go to your favorite website.  (An orange RSS icon indicates the website supports RSS subscriptions.)
  3. Click on the RSS icon of the website and copy the web address (url) of the feed.  Paste the feed url in your RSS feed reader.  You’re done!  Some readers do not even need the specific RSS feed url, just the main website url that has the feed.  Many feed readers have options that allow you to move your feeds into categories and adjust the time interval set for searching new content.

Now find an RSS feed reader and add Double Fox Websites:


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