By Identity Writer: J Domenichini on Aug 31, 2007
I'm still in the funny videos frame of mind (see my previous entry). However, the video included in this entry includes some how-to info that was really useful to me (not just funny).
First of all, let me say that the info is more useful if you use
Firefox as your browser and/or Thunderbird as your mail client, but not necessarily. I have
sort of understood the RSS thing and the blog feed thing and stuff like
that. However, I'm glad I watched the video and implemented the steps
because now I'm REALLY starting to understand it and I can see why I should care about this feed stuff.
Below, I'm including the URL field of a Firefox browser that you would see when visiting this blog (the blog you're reading right now). Blogs generally have feeds available, so that little orange square shows up to let you know that feeds are available. You can do a lot of things with those feeds. For example, you can retrieve them as bookmarks or you can add them to your Thunderbird mail client and have them show up in the Folder pane of the Thunderbird interface. Next thing you know, your reading your favorite blogs right from your email. The best thing is that you can add a blogfeed (either as a bookmark or a email "folder") and then you can get the last 30 entries for that blog listed all nice and neat.
Click that orange button and you'll be presented with a couple of options, as such:
- Subscribe to 'Recent Entries (Atom)'
- Subscribe to 'Recent Comments (Atom)'
If you select Subscribe to 'Recent Entries (Atom),' the first thing to notice is that the URL changes to the following: http://blogs.sun.com/JohnD/feed/entries/atom
The above URL is the feed to my blog. In some cases you'll want to copy that URL. However, you'll also notice that the web page changed when you clicked the "Subscribe..." button. At the top of the new page you are presented with options. For those options, you don't need to copy the URL.
You have the option of adding that feed as a Live Bookmark right in your Firefox browser or you can add it to another blog reader. The blog readers available at the moment are Google Reader, Bloglines, and My Yahoo. In Firefox, after you add the bookmark (let's say you add it directly in your toolbar), you can then move the arrow over the bookmark to see a list of the 30 most recent entries.
If you want to add the feed to Thunderbird as a mail folder, you can do the following:
- Copy the feed, such as http://blogs.sun.com/JohnD/feed/entries/atom.
- Go to Thunderbird.
- Select File>New>Account.
- In the Account Wizard, select RSS News & Blogs.
- Scroll down the Folders pane and click the RSS News & Blogs option.
- Click Manage subscriptions
- In the dialog box, click Add
- In the Feed URL field, paste the URL you have saved.
- Click OK
The feed to that blog should show up under the RSS News & Blogs heading. You can click the blog name to see the 30 most recent entries listed just as emal messages are normally listed. Click an entry to have it appear in the window below where you normally read messages.
With the instructions above and the video that I've linked to out on YouTube, it should be semi clear. And if you're smarter than I, it might be very clear. I suppose it's actually quite simple, I just had to concentrate quite a bit while watching the video. I also had to review a few parts like 5 times until I finally got it. Hey, but that's me. With the instructions I've added above, hopefully things are easier.