Over the last few weeks you may have noticed that RSS feed logos have appeared on www.Merliannews.com, the reason for this note is to explain what RSS feeds are and why they are very potentially very useful.
RSS means 'Really Simple Syndication' and it provides a means of linking content from the Website to specialized software. There are two main uses, firstly to deliver information about Podcasts and secondly to deliver information about articles, or news items.
In practice most people use iTunes to access Podcasts, specialized Podcasting programs are used by only a few people, so we will ignore Podcasts in this note, however thanks to pioneering work by the BBC, CNN and a few other news Websites, the use of RSS feeds to link to “Newsreaders” programs is becoming popular.
Once you have installed a Newsreader program you can link to the RSS feed on www.Merliannews.com and be notified of any new articles that appear on the Magazine. You can also use the Newsreader to link to other RSS feeds, so example to keep track of other information, the BBC for example provides RSS feeds for news about golf, tennis and other sports, in addition to its feeds about regular news.
The BBC have a useful guide to RSS feeds: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/3223484.stm
If you use Firefox [www.mozilla.com/firefox/central] as your Web browser (as I do), it is easy to add Wiss RSS 2.0 as an extension, this Newsreader integrates well with Firefox and is free.
If you use Windows Explorer as you Web browser life is slightly more complex. We have used a new RSS Newsreader called Snarfer, it’s free and seems to work well, download: http://www.snarfware.com/download.htm
Then copy http://www.merrynjose.com/artman/publish/rss.xml into Snarfer. There are a number of other Newsreader programs, all work on the same principles.
I hope you enjoy the convenience of RSS, it means that you no longer have to log on to a Website to check whether there is a new story or article.