So, you've heard this term thrown around a lot and are curious as to what is its meaning? Or perhaps, this is the first time you've heard of such an animal. Well, first off, it's not an animal, nor is it a covert government agency. RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication". See, even nerds have a sense of humor; albeit a bit skewed. Okay, it's not a barrel of laughs, but give it a few minutes and I'll show you how to use it.
If you've spent any length of time on the internet, you'll undoubtedly realize how much information is flowing through them pipes. There's a plethora of stuff you can find and all sorts of interest groups. But, unless you have Google surgically implanted in your brain, there's no way that you'll ever get all of this info in your noggin. in comes RSS.
How does RSS work?
Think of it this way. When you want to learn about the newest gadget or the latest health craze or even the latest news story, there are most probably a few links in your favourite folder which you visit. RSS enables those said web pages to send you a little nugget of digital information which your browser can interpret and deliver to you. It's like a monitoring system. Your web pages saying, "Hey, I've got something new for you to view."
Setting up RSS:
Did you know that the Access Content blog uses RSS? It's true, never miss another addition to this oh so exciting blog and I'll show you how to set this all up.
There are many RSS feed readers or aggregators out there, but the simplest, and not to mention free, is built right into Internet Explorer 7 or later. So, without further ado, let's add Access Content to the feeds list.
1. Go to: www.accesscontent.ca/blog
2. TAB to the "RSS Feed" link and press ENTER.
An informational page will come up explaining, (in unfriendly scientific terms), what RSS is and does.
3. TAB to the Plus Button Subscribe to this feed" link and press ENTER.
4. Either TAB through the resulting page to the Subscribe Button and press ENTER. Or just press ALT+S.
Congratulations, you're subscribed.
Well, you can now visit the feeds folder by pressing CONTROL+SHIFT+J. Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to move through the different feeds. There may be a few examples to get you started.
Press the same keystroke combination, CONTROL+SHIFT+J to close the feed view. To expand a feeds tree view, press the RIGHT ARROW. Press the LEFT ARROW to close it.
To view a particular feed, press ENTER on it.
To delete a feed, press the DELETE key.
The next time you open a web page, pay close attention at what your screen reader will say. If there are any available RSS Feeds present, you should hear the screen reader say: "RSS feeds".
Instead of wandering around the page aimlessly, trying to find the RSS link which will let you subscribe to the feed, do the following:
- Press ALT+T for tools.
- Press UP ARROW until you hear: "Feed Discovery", and press ENTER.
- Press DOWN ARROW to get to the feed link. If there are no feeds to be found, the only unavailable option to you will be: "No web slices available". This means there are no findable Feeds.
Press ENTER on the feed link and follow the subscribe steps mentioned earlier in this entry.
But wait, there's more:
If you're running Outlook 2007, you can see your RSS feed stories right in your inbox. Access them as follows:
- Within Outlook, press CONTROL+Y to bring up the folders list.
- Press R to quickly get to the RSS feeds folder.
- Press RIGHT ARROW to expand the feeds.
- Use the UP and DOWN ARROWS to list the feeds and press ENTER on the one you would like to explore.
- The resulting list can be navigated the same way you would navigate your email messages.
Once finished with the RSS Feed reading, Press CONTROL+SHIFT+Ito get back to the Inbox.
Well, we've come to the end of this really simple syndication snippet yet again. Enjoy aggregating and personalizing the information you receive.