Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feeding the Feedburner

I have know about Feedburner for some time.  I just put my blog feed on feedburner however.

I know I have mentioned web syndication (RSS) and feeds before and why but I'll recap.  

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" and is a way for you to watch someone's blog or podcast or the news (really anything with frequent updates) without having to visit the site constantly to see if the put something out for the rest of the world to read.

For the non-geek among us, most blogs like Typepad, Blogger and Wordpress will publish a feed for you.  For the geekier, among us, there are ways of building your own feeds, you just need a place to put the feed file.  One that I use is called "ListGarden"... I like it because it's easy and reliable, runs nearly anywhere and costs $0... A good price.  You can pay $$ and get something like RSSBuddy however.

What do you do with these feeds?  There are several things you can do... One is to ignore it but what fun is that?  If you choose not to ignore it, however, you don't have to look directly at it. After all, the file that is produced is pretty ugly.   

Instead, put it into a feed reader.  There are installed readers and on-line readers.  I like on-line readers because I am not always on the same computer so I don't have to weed through the same information multiple times.  The disadvantage is that if you are reading a feed from a corporate intranet (inside the company), the on-line readers can't get to it and you need an installed reader.  Fortunately, many browsers have the feature built in.

Installed readers include:
My personal favorites are Google Reader.  It works well in Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox as well as a mobile version for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Now, why Feedburner?  Feedburner has this feature that allows you to subscribe to any of the on-line services with the click of a button.  If you are publishing a podcast, you can also have iTunes automatically subscribe, even if you are not in the iTunes store.  It also keeps statistics for you on where people come from and go to.

You can now subscribe to this blog here, Why you may want to is a different question.


Jeanie said...

Very educational.

I am still not sure I really know what the heck you're talking about however! :)

Unknown said...

That's OK!