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The What Why and How of RSS

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What is an RSS Feed?

rss-buttonSimply put, the universally known orange symbol (I LOVE orange!) you see here means Really Simple Syndication or sometimes Rich Site Summary. I am definitely NOT a tech person but I like tech geeks, they make for really nice and interesting people, most of the time, and they are the people who make it possible for me to give you my singing expertise, so they deserve kudos.

Now, in deference to my tech geek friends at Host Monster (my fabulous hosting company that I highly recommend), I am going to change geek-speak into really simple words for you. I figure that if I can understand it well enough to explain it, then you can understand it too.

Basically, RSS is a data format for a web or news feed (I get this picture of a spider at a feeding trough reading the NY Times – sort of odd, but there you have it).

A web/news feed lets a content provider or publisher, like myself (or you), give notice to the public that he or she has updated content on a website. That content can be an article, a podcast, a video, a news update, photo, etc. Pretty much anything that can be put on the web. By syndicating it, I make it possible for you to have access to it by subscribing to my SingBabySing® RSS Feed.

In other words, when I post something new to this site, whether it is an article or an offer for my 65% OFF SingBabySing® CD or my 10 FREE Moms Makeover My Voice Videos , if you subscribe to my RSS Feed, and you should, you will be notified in your RSS Reader that I have posted a new video (or mp3 file, photo, news bite or written article) and you can easily get to it from there instead of having to first go to my site to check and see if there is anything new for you. The RSS feed will also show you a summary of the article or post, as well as the publishing dates and author.

For instance, if you click on this link Subscribe to SingBabySing® you will get to the page where you can subscribe to this blog. Again, I really think you will be doing yourself a favor by taking this really simple step so you can get my really cool updates so you can simply sing better.

However, I’m assuming you are a newbie to RSS and that is why you are reading this article, so you may ask….

What is an RSS Reader?

An RSS Reader (or feed reader or aggregator) is simply some software that uses a formatting language called XML. You do not need to know more about XML than that, so I will spare you the details. That software checks on my updates, sends them to you and allows you to read (or listen or see)them.

I happen to like Google Reader, but there are many other RSS Readers available. They are all free and easy to use. When you Subscribe to SingBabySing® you will be able to choose which feed reader you want my updates sent to by using the reader chicklets.

What are Chicklets?

Chicklets are little buttons that make it easy for you to click and subscribe to an RSS Feed.

Here are some of the most popular chickets.

Google Reader or HomepageSubscribeAdd to My Yahoo!Subscribe with BloglinesSubscribe in NewsGator OnlineBittyBrowser
Convert RSS to PDFSolosubgritwireSimpify!Add to Technorati Favorites!Add to netvibes
Add this site to your ProtopageSubscribe in myEarthlinkAdd to your phone

Choosing an RSS Reader

This is a personal preference sort of thing, so I suggest doing a Google search for RSS reader to find the one that suits you. Do not spend a lot of time picking out a reader. Spend your time learning how to sing!

How To Subscribe to a Blog

At the top right hand side of this page (and all the pages on this blog) you can see the orange RSS link. It does not have to look like the graphic that starts this post. It can look like a little reading an RSS newspaper or anything else. But as long as it has the RSS symbol (usually orange, but not always), you can use it to subscribe to a blog.

I like Google Reader because I use Gmail and I can sign into my reader using my gmail account.

To subscribe to my blog, simply click here and choose your reader. If you don’t have a reader account, set it up so you can get the help you need to learn how to sing. It really is that simple!