Tailgating Ideas

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What is RSS?

Posted by Dave On August - 18 - 2007

Do you want to keep up to date on the latest tailgating ideas out there? By subscribing to TailgatingIdeas.com via RSS you can receive updates the moment they happen. The best part is it is free and simple to use.

What is RSS?

RSS (it stands for Really Simple Syndication) is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to. In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to bookmark websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added. What a hassle!

The problems with bookmarking

* You, as the web surfer, had to do all the work.
* It can get complicated when you are trying to track many websites at once.
* You miss information when you forget to check your bookmarks.
* You end up seeing the same information over and over again on sites that don’t update very often.

RSS Changes Everything – What if a website contacted you every time it was updated? Even better is that it alerts you of updates when you are ready to read them on YOUR time. This is what RSS does for you.

RSS is a technology that provides you with a method of getting relevant and up to date information sent to you for you to read in your own time. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published. RSS also organizes it into one easy to find location.

Describing RSS as a ‘subscription’ is probably the easiest analogy we can make. It’s like subscribing to a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.

You may not be the most computer savvy person in the world (neither am I) – but even I can use RSS. When I first started using RSS it took some adjusting of my mindset to stop bookmarking and start using RSS. I will admit, once I started using RSS, I hardly ever book mark website anymore. I now almost exclusively use RSS.

How do I Use RSS?

The first thing you need to do is start using an RSS Feed Reader. There are a number of RSS readers out there but we would suggest using one that is web based and is free and easy to use. Two of the most popular RSS readers out there are Google Reader or Bloglines. Both are very simple to use and will help get you up to speed with using RSS.

Both of these feed readers work a little like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update and can read it right there in the feed reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item – marking the last one as ‘read’.

The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and give it a go. Both have help sections to get you up and running.

Two Ways to Subscribe

Once you have found a website you would like to subscribe to, there are two places you can click on to subscribe.

1. On the site itself – Typically in sections of a web site you will see ways to subscribe by seeing an RSS button. Clicking on it will take you to a sign up page.

2. In your web browser – Many internet browsers now have the ability to find and subscribe to RSS feeds built right into them. When you surf to a site you can usually tell if it has an RSS feed by looking in the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL. Do you see the little orange icon on the right hand side? Click that and you’ll be locating the TailgatingIdeas RSS feed. (Other modern browsers will have similar icons.)

To quickly and easily subscribe by clicking these icons you’ll want to set up your browser to do it with your feed reader of choice as by default they will probably subscribe you using the in-browser reader. You can do this by going to the ‘preferences’ to your browser and choosing ‘Google Reader’ or ‘Bloglines’, etc as your feed reader.

Once you’ve done this and have subscribed to a few feeds you’ll begin to see unread items in your Feed Reader and you can start reading.

Hopefully this information was helpful and will encourage you to start using RSS to keep track of multiple websites online. If you would like to subscribe to updates for TailgatingIdeas.com, click on the Subscribe via RSS text in the Admin box on the sidebar. You will be subscribing in no time and will get the latest updates about tailgating and tailgate party ideas as soon as they are published.

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About Me

TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.