The Mystery of RSS Feeds

Have I scared you with my title? I hope not.

This is a bit of a departure from our regular posts – but I wanted to do a quick little explanation of Feeds, Following and all that good stuff.

See, on March 1, Google Friend Connect Widgets will be going away for non-Blogger blogs. Or blogs that are hosted places other than Blogger, like WordPress.
Like me. :)
That is this box here – that lives on my sidebar.

Love those faces!!

The way Google Friend Connect works is that you click, “Join This Site” and your info is added as a follower.
In a magic hocus – pocus sort of way – the Feed for the blog you’ve just “joined” has been added to your Blogger Dashboard and if you use it, Google Reader.
Presto. Awesome Blog Posts at your fingertips.

Now Google isn’t being very clear with this closure – there seems to be conflicting info out there. We know that GFC won’t work anymore, but we don’t know if all those sweet folks will stop getting our feed or not. It’s a mystery.
And not a good “what-did-you-get-me-for-my-birthday” mystery either.

To avoid missing out on your favorite WordPress blogs (hi!), I thought I’d write out some other easy ways to “Follow”!

 

Let’s start with the Basics. What is RSS Feed?

On most sites you’ll see some form of this icon:

This cute little box that looks like a radio signal or something. This is the symbol for RSS Feeds – or Really Simple Syndication.
Really Simple is good. :)

The RSS Feed is the content that is published on the site. So blog posts. (You can also receive RSS Feeds from other places – like Facebook and Pinterest!)

 

So now we know that RSS Feed is a great way to keep updated on blogs, how do we get it?

There are LOTS of ways. You can receive your feed in a reader, like Google, on your My Yahoo Page, in Outlook, and more!

I’ll walk you through this a couple different ways.
If you click on that cute little RSS logo, a page will open that looks like this:

See all those little choices up there under “Subscribe Now”? All you have to do is choose the one you’d like to use, then it will import the RSS Feed there!

Let’s use Google Reader as an example.
When you import a Blog Feed into Google Reader, it lists them all on the side. It shows you a number next to the feed whenever a new post is made.
All you have to do is click on the Blog Name and it shows you the latest post!

You can read through the post, then click over to comment!
(Some blogs shorten their posts – so you only receive a paragraph or two in the feed. You’ll have to click over every time to read all of their posts.)

Mine are all lumped together, but you can also organize them by type, how often they post, favorites – whatever!

 

You can also add a blog’s feed directly into Google Reader.
Just click on the “Subscribe” box on the top left side there and a little text box will open for you.
All you have to do is type in the website address and it will find and import the feed for you!

Another Reader-type option for you is Bloglovin’.

Bloglovin is a reader that works similar to Google Reader – you can import your blogs there too.
I signed up to see how it works and it was very easy!

All I had to do was type the Blog name into the Search box and it found it. Then I clicked on “Follow” and it imported the feed!
(BTW – you guys do read Catalog Living right?? It is hilarious!!)

Also – both Google Reader and Bloglovin have Apps – so they make it very easy to follow along with items in your Readers on your mobile devices.

You can also sign up at most blogs to receive their posts by email!

All you have to do is type in your email. Then you’ll get a confirmation email from the Blog you’ve signed up with. Once you confirm that you actually want the feed and haven’t been spammed :)
then you’ll start receiving posts in your email box!

Of course, you can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter, but sometimes you can miss a post link, especially with Facebook’s goofy new algorithms.
If you aren’t interacting with those pages, you won’t see their updates much.

That wasn’t too bad was it? I hope it has helped some of you with some new ideas for was to receive blog posts and keep updated on your favorite sites!
I’ve probably missed some things – if you think of them, leave them in the comments!

25 Comments

  • Reply January 27, 2012

    malia

    I love this post, thank you and I am linking to it/you in an upcoming post myself!!! Thanks also for your Pinterest-ing! xo

  • Reply January 27, 2012

    Michele of By Your Side

    Great post!! You explained it all so well!
    I am still on Blogger, mostly because I am so afraid of moving everything over to WordPress!!
    I have Flamingo Toes delivered to my in box, just so I never miss a thing!!

  • This is a fabulous post! Thank you so very much for writing this all out. I have a blogger blog but I am wondering if those that have a WP or other type blog will still be following as well. At any rate, I see GFC being done away with all together in the future.

  • Reply February 28, 2012

    Heather

    This is a really helpful post as we wait to find out what is going to happen on Thursday. I have started reading my google reader blog roll in Flipboard on my iPad and will never be able to go back to to old list…I guess I better start getting my readers onto an rss feed too, eh? Thanks!

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