RSS Feeds, The Orange Wave Icon, and You.

This is not so much a Disney post as it is a PSA.  If you spend any time on the web, you have probably noticed the ubiquitous orange wave icon on every website that you visit.  If you have paid any attention to it at all, you know that that little orange thingy stands for RSS Feed.  For most people, that is where their knowledge ends.  But it is only since I have started blogging that I have learned how cool the RSS Feed really is!

What exactly is an RSS Feed?
RSS stands for many versions of the same thing, but the easiest acronym is "Real Simple Syndication".  Which means it is really a very easy way for you to create a customized "news" site for what every you wish to be informed about!  If you are an information junkie, follow lots of blogs, or just like to keep things clean and organized then it is time for you to harness the power of an RSS feed.

So how does it work?
Basically myself and other bloggers submit our articles in a simple text file format to a special feed server, who in turn pushes it out to whoever subscribes to our site. The information is instantly available to you...whenever you want it. It is not going to clog up your email, or endlessly harass you. If you want to get your favorite newsy updates on what ever you enjoy, you simply go to your Feed Reader and ...Viola!

Why should I subscribe?
It is really cool.  Don't take my word for it...give it a go!  It takes only a few minutes to set up and saves a ton of time later on. 
  • Fast Info - Posts from you favorite bloggers and news sources update your feed automatically as soon as the post is made. 
  • Customizable - You choose exactly what you want to see.  As my husband would say "All killer, no filler!"
  • No Checking and Re-checking For Updates -If it is not in your feed, it is just not there.
  • No Oversights - I run down my favorite list of sites every morning, but occasionally I forget to hit a site.  Not with a Feed Reeder!
  • No Bookmarks - With the growing list of users on the family computer, our bookmarks are getting out of control.  My Feed Reader eliminates the need entirely.
  • No Buried or Lost Posts - My feed reader shows all unread posts for the blogs I follow.  So if I get a little slack, it will be waiting for me when I return.  
  • Easy to Prioritize and Organize - You can organize your feeds into nice little categories of your own choosing.  I have my "Must Reads", "Disney Favorites" (which is quite small because they are usually in my must reads!) "News", "Family Blogs", and "Other". 
How to I read a feed? 
The first step is to select a feed reader.  This is a webpage that you will go to to read your feed.  I already have a Google account, so I just decided to go with the Google Reader.  You can Google "Google Reader" for more information on getting it set up.  There are plenty of feed readers out there, so do some looking and find one that works for you. 

How do I subscribe?
If any blogs you follow have a Google Follow button or that Orange Wave icon, you simply click it. Follow the screen prompts to make sure you get subscribed properly.  When you open your Feed Reader you can categorize your feeds in any way you choose.

Anything else?
Yup!  If you have a smart phone, look for a feed reader so you can stay in touch on the go.  I love to check for overnight updates before I crawl out of bed in the morning.  One button on my phone launches my reader and I am plugged in to my favorite content.  Warning - Use of a feed reader in this manner may make you late for work, school, or what ever else you should be doing!

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