New Features: RSS Feeds

Along with the new look, we’ve added some new features here at Wordorigins.org. One of the new features are RSS feeds.

RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is a way to receive notification of updates to websites, blogs, discussion forums, and the like. Wordorigins.org has two different RSS feeds, one for the main site and one for the discussion forums. So you have the choice of seeing updates for the main Wordorigins.org site, for the forums, or for both.

An RSS feed is an XML document that contains the titles and summaries of recent posts to a website.

You subscribe to an RSS feed by the use of a reader or aggregator, such as Google Reader or My Yahoo! These readers allow you to monitor a number of sites and blogs at once, obviating the need to visit each site just to find out if something new has been posted there. The reader displays the titles and summaries of the new articles at the websites you’ve subscribed to, allowing you to click on links to go to those that interest you.

To subscribe to an RSS feed you will need two things, an RSS reader and the url of the RSS feed that you wish to subscribe to. Then you follow these steps:

1.) Download or access an RSS Reader. Popular readers include My Yahoo!, Google Reader, and Bloglines. If you use the Firefox web browser, you can use its Live Bookmarks feature to subscribe.

2.) Locate the web address (url) of the RSS feed that you wish to subscribe. For the Wordorigins RSS feed, go to the Syndication section listed under the monthly Archives links on the right-hand side of any page on the site. The location of the RSS feed for the discussion forums will vary depending on what theme you have chosen, but look for the button at the bottom of the forums screen. Wordorigins.org offers two different RSS formats, RSS 2.0 and Atom. If you’re confused over which to pick, most readers do fine with either one.

3.) Click on the link or the button and you will be taken to the RSS feed. There are buttons to automatically subscribe you to four different readers:

  • My Yahoo!
  • Google Reader
  • Bloglines
  • Firefox’s Live Bookmarks

Choose the one you want to use and click the subscribe button. If your preferred reader is not listed, you can copy the url of the feed from the browser window and paste it into the subscription section of your reader.

4.) The information in the feed will be updated when the feed contains new content and displayed when you use your reader.

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