APA-IL: General News and Announcements
(as seen on the APA-IL website's "front page")
What is RSS?
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a notification system used to alert
subscribers to changes made to their favorite websites. Each site must offer the
free service in order for people to add it to their lists. It is easy to see
which sites offer the service, or are RSS-enabled, because of the orange buttons
labeled with either RSS or XML somewhere on the page. The APA-IL website this
to show when there is a feed on our website. When ever you see
you can click on the button and read or subscribe to the feed.
An RSS feed is a text-based headline with a link, and usually a short summary,
that is shot over to you as soon as it is posted. If you’re interested in
reading the whole article, just click on the RSS feed link, and you will be
directed to the full article, simply and efficiently. Think of a feed as the
newspaper boy delivering the paper to your front door, as opposed to you walking
to the newsstand.
How do I read the feeds?
You may have noticed that when you try to click on one of the orange,
rectangular buttons, you just get a squirrelly looking page of code. RSS is
written in XML (Extensible Markup Language), similar to html. That’s all fine
and good, but why can’t Johnny read the feed? Well, that’s because he needs an
RSS feed reader to make it work. Some readers automatically take you to the full
article, while with others, you must use their application’s RSS button. So now
There are a couple of ways to read:
Stand alone - A standalone application that
processes your feeds for you. You can access feeds while offline. The drawback
here, is that it is yet another program open on your desktop.
Add-on - The reader plugs right in and extend the functionality of
existing programs, such as Internet Explorer and Outlook. The upside, is that
most likely, you already have Outlook or Explorer open all the time. The
downside, is that if you have many folders in Outlook already or hundreds of
bookmarks in Explorer, it may be a little more difficult to find your feeds
Web-based - Web-based feed readers are built right into a browser,
requiring no special software installation. The Mozilla Firefox browser, for
example, automatically enables you to add RSS feeds to your Favorites folder
creating “Live Bookmarks”. Safari and Internet Explorer also have.
I only want to receive one feed from APA-IL, how can I blend
Tools to mix, blend and "mash-up" multiple RSS feeds help you grab multiple RSS
feeds and create a single customized RSS feed. Search the internet for "rss
mashup" or "rss mixer" and you will find dozens of free services. Each service
provides slightly different features so do your research and find the one that
matches your needs the best.
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