If you're already using a Feed Reader, go ahead and skip this post. But if you're a fan of a lot of different websites and it's becoming too much of a hassle to constantly check them, then RSS subscriptions may be your answer.
A feed reader helps you out by checking your subscriptions for you and displaying the stuff you haven't seen yet. For those familiar with TiVo, it's like having a "Season Pass" (with subscriptions to web content) and viewing your new stuff in a sort of "Now Playing" list.
Getting started is extremely easy. You start by choosing a Feed Reader. There's a lot of good choices out there: some of them are standalone apps, some are Firefox browser extensions, but I like the Google Reader, which is a web-based feed reader.
To get started, you have to register an online account at: http://www.google.com/reader/
Logging into this site lets it keep track of your personal set of subscriptions so you can get to them from different computers. You can also share your subscriptions with friends (this is the Social Networking aspect) or import / export your list.
If this is your first time, you need to start adding subscriptions. You are looking for some variation of this click-able orange square icon:
You'll find one at the top of the developerWorks page on which this blog resides. If you click it, you'll see the actual feed. Firefox will put a helpful "Subscribe to this feed using..." link at the top. If you want to add it to Google, just select Google from the drop-down list and click "Subscribe Now". That's it! You've added your first subscription.
If you aren't using Firefox, just click "Add a subscription" from the Google Reader page and paste in the URL to the feed. The URL for this blog is: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/roller-ui/rendering/feed/etech/entries/atom
Dear faithful reader, if you would like to share your favorite web feeds, you can also login and add a comment to this thread. Thanks!
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