Saturday, August 12, 2006

Subscribe. Do it.

Are you tired of checking The Homesteaders for updates every few minutes only to be bitterly disappointed by our laziness? Get with the feed, man. You can subscribe to our RSS feed (Atom feed, actually, but we don't need to get into the differences right now, do we?) and have new posts delivered right to your favorite RSS reader whenever we get around to publishing the damned things. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML message used to publish information to subscribers. These feeds can track blog posts, weather updates, package deliveries, news headlines, whatever. We're currently tracking 40 websites - - each with several posts per day. Without RSS, surfing that much turf would take a long time. But having them all in one place let's you get through them quickly.

To get started, all you need is a feed reader and a feed source (like us) and you're ready to go. There are lots of readers, or "aggregators", out there, so try a few on to see what fits you best. In fact, both Firefox and the new Internet Explorer 7 (IE7 beta) web browser support RSS feeds directly on the toolbar. We're fond of Google Reader because it's free and web-based, so we can access our collection of feeds from anywhere.

Once you know what you're looking for, you'll start noticing feed icons all over the place. They usually look like this: or . Some sites may just have a "Subscribe" button - - not very sexy. Once you find one of these icons, you'll need to right-click it (or control-click for the Appleistas), copy the link location, and then paste that link into your reader. Now that you've subscribed, your reader will check for updates periodically and serve up a steaming plate of goodness whenever it finds something new.

To subscribe to our feed, find the at the bottom of the sidebar to the right. Now, go paste the link you copied (
in your new feed reader. Do it. I don't wanna see you kids hanging around here anymore.

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