What is a feed ?

Posted by Junaid August 8, 2010

What is a feed?
If you’re used to surfing the internet and viewing blogs, you probably already know what a feed is. If you don’t, then read on. A feed is basically way for a blog’s or website’s visitor to subscribe to the site using a web page, feed reader or email to subscribe.

New posts are automatically delivered to the chosen subscription method so that the user can read new posts from their favorite topics whenever they are updated, without having to surf from site to site looking for new posts and updates.

What is an RSS feed?

RSS is the most common feed type. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.
It is a text-based XML format. The feed content is delivered to your favorite RSS feed reader. The most popular web-based RSS feed readers are Bloglines and Google Reader. Here’s a list of Windows based RSS feed reader software.

Apart from RSS, the most popular feed type is Atom. It also uses XML to deliver the feeds.

Subscribing to an RSS feed

Subscibing to a feed is pretty simple. Let’s walk through the process together.

Step 1: Find the RSS feed. Most blogs have their feed icon at the top right area of the page, look for the orange feed icon or RSS. On this blog, I have a custom, blue RSS feed icon.

If you can’t find the feed icon on a blog (90% of blogs have it) don’t worry. Most feeds are at http://www.example.com/feed so try adding the /feed to the end of the blog’s adress. (My feed is at http://feeds.feedburner.com/Guide29-Tutorials For blogs at blogspot.com, add feeds/posts/default to the end of their domain to find the feed. Example: http://example.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default.

Step 2: Subscribe. Click the feed icon and you’ll be taken to the feed page. From here you can choose which feed reader to use. I recommend Google Reader. Choose your preferred reader and continue.

Step 3: Read. Now you are subscribed to the feed. You should be redirected to your RSS feed reader and you can start reading feeds.

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