What is RSS?

The last time you checked your friend’s blog, she was crossing into New Guinea and planning to trek towards a remote jungle village.

Now, after two weeks of faithfully checking her blog and seeing no update, you are starting to wonder. Did she wander off the path and end up snakebait? Did she finally making it to the village and they decided to have their new guest for dinner….literally?

OK, these are worst case scenarios…let’s say she is really just sitting around the mountains, drinking .50 cent local beers and happy to be away from a computer for a while – believe me, anyone that has tried to keep a blog while on the move will agree – it happens!

Anyone reading that crossed over from my old travel blog, Vagabonding Begins (thank you by the way!) can confirm – sometimes updates come slower than a Muslim Christmas party.

What can you do about it?

RSS is a cool way around the inconvenience of checking multiple sites and blogs…which in my case would take hours. I’m sure that you’ve seen the little orange icons (there are many different ones) on sites like this one:

By clicking that, you can subscribe to updates (free of course) which will show up on the reader that you choose. It will list several options for you, but http://my.yahoo.com and http://www.igoogle.com are two very popular ones. You can add as much madness as you like including news, weather, blogs, shopping deals, etc….any website that offers a “feed” or “rss” will allow you to get updates in one place.

This allows you to simply log into your my.yahoo.com account once and see what is going on on dozens of websites. In seconds, you will know if your friend was turned into a poisonous dart pin cushion or if she married the love of her life in the new village.

Feedburner (and most people with common sense) will tell you not to publish your reader count unless it is quite high. After moving my blog recently and changing the feed, it says that I have only had 23 new readers “zombies” subscribe at this point. There are actually quite a bit more, and the number seems to jump up and down randomly for some reason, but its fun to watch.

So, I guess the entire point of this post was…if you haven’t clicked on the little orange RSS thingy on the right yet – do it! That way I won’t feel bad if I go a week or two between updates. 😉

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