RSS feeds

15-Feb-2008

MEC Marketing Assistant, Julian Chant, writes:

Do you know what an RSS feed is?

In a nutshell, RSS feeds – which generally have this icon next to them – contain a summary of content from an associated web site, making it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that’s easier than checking them manually.

There are many different ‘RSS Feed Readers’ to choose from. The Mozilla Firefox version of Google Toolbar has a great function called “Subscribe” which enables you to add RSS Feeds to your toolbar in the same way that you add web pages to your Bookmarks folder. The Toolbar will automatically detect if content of the page you’re browsing is available for subscription and enable the “Subscribe” button to notify you. When enabled, simply click “Subscribe” and you’ll be taken to your chosen feed reader to confirm the subscription.

In the image above you can see an example of what an RSS feed using Firefox Live Bookmarks looks like. To enable Live Bookmarks, simply click on the “Subscribe” icon in your Google Toolbar and select “Choose Reader”. In the drop-down menu you will see “Firefox Live Bookmarks”.

RSS feeds are an excellent compliment to Web Links as they encourage your students to regularly view online content that you recommend. As well as connect2mec, other useful sites to subscribe to could include online news such as the BBC or regularly updated online content such as Wikipedia.

For a more detailed explanation of RSS feeds, take a look at this article from Wikipedia. If you don’t already have them, Mozilla Firefox and Google Toolbar are both free to download.

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