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RSS (Really Simple Syndication)


A Walkthrough to help you get started.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication that allows content publishers to send updates to their subscribers in an easy way. This means, if you have added RSS feeds from BBC, New York Times, CNet and Washington Tines; you can read all the updates right from one single page! Moreover you can have your own blog available as RSS. The aim here is not to tell you the technicalities of RSS but to how how just about anyone can do it.

Let's start a step-by-step tutorial to how how you can take advantage of RSS feeds by incorporating them in your webpage. We will also publish your blog as RSS so that others can add your feed.

First, it is important to know that you need a web-hosting service that supports RSS inclusion. For this walkthrough, we have selected MyYahoo. Open up your browser and surf to my.yahoo.com

  1. Signup for a new account.

  2. You will be prompted to click on a link to verify your email address and activate your account.

  3. Check your mail and activate your account, you can now login to MyYahoo.

  4. MyYahoo is designed so that you can select from a list of items (that Yahoo provides) to be displayed on your personalized page. From various sources of news and weather info, you can customize the page layout and content placement. Currently in its beta version, Yahoo has added the option for adding RSS in MyYahoo pages.

  5. We are now going to locate BBC's cricket news RSS and add it on MyYahoo, making it possible to see what's the latest in the world of cricket. Browse the BBC home page and from the sports section, choose Cricket. At bottom bar, the last link on the right hand side is 'RS version'.

  6. Clicking 'RSS version' link brings up an RSS info page. Along with general description of RSS, you will see 'Click here for your RSS feed' next to an orange icon labeled 'XML'. Remember, whenever you see this sign while browsing the net, it denotes a RSS link which can be used in your site or any RSS reader application or news aggregator.

  7. Right click the XML icon and copy the shortcut. This will be used in our MyYahoo page. Go to add.my.yahoo/rss .

  8. Click the 'Add It' button. Paste the link we had just copied in the field given on page.

  9. Our link is there in the text field. Press the Search button. This takes us to the next page.
    Note that this field can be used for directly adding a RSS link (what we did) or an be used to search for RSS feeds. There's also a link to browse Yahoo's most popular RSS feeds.

  10. BBC cricket has been recognized by MyYahoo. Pressing the Add button here will finalize the addition of the RSS feed, so press it to see MyYahoo page again.

  11. Congrats! The news item has been added in 'RS Headlines' section.

Setting your blog for RSS and adding it to MyYahoo:

Time now to publish our blog and place it on MyYahoo.

  1. Here's what you need to do to get started with blogging. Signup at BlogSpot (Blogger) at www.blogger.com. After filling out initial forms, you will be asked to select a template.

  2. After signup is complete, the posting area is visible. From the top bar, select settings. Then select "Site Feed' from the horizontal bar just below settings tab. Here's where you can define your RSS settings.

  3. We are now in Settings > RSS Feed. Make sure the 'Publish Site Feed' dropdown is set to Yes. Copy the 'Site Feed URL' given on this page. This will be used to add our blog to MyYahoo page. Let's create a blog entry quickly. Click on the 'posting' tab.

  4. After entering some text, press 'Publish Post' button given at the bottom of this page.

  5. The blog is ready! We have copied the feed link as well. All that's left is to add it along with that cricket RSS.

Adding blog RSS to MyYahoo

  1. Back to MyYahoo. Click the edit button on top right next to RSS Headlines section. Paste the link just copied from the blog site to 'Add New Sources' section.

  2. Press Search button. This will fetch our blog to Yahoo.

  3. Click Add and a page appears which gives you the option of setting up display preferences for your RSS feeds.

  4. Select 'short summary' from 'For each article, display the..." drop down menu. The number of articles from each source is set to 5 and the date option to 'any date'. Click finish.

Along with the cricket headlines and a some text, a blog entry will appear too. In this way, you can collect information from various sources over the net into one place (as yahoo calls itself an emerging newsreader) - all updating automatically giving you a one-stop solution for most of your surfing needs.

This ends our short RSS tutorial - happy reading and publishing!

Written by Nabeel Khalid



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