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November 2006



RSS – It’s Not Just For Geeks!

I read an article recently that stated only geeks use RSS. Which is true, the majority of internet users have no idea what RSS is and don’t really seem to care. Well I’m here to make your web surfing life easier and more productive. Follow me as I inform you of the wonders of RSS!!!

First off…who would benefit most from using RSS? Anyone who surfs the web and looks at several websites on a regular basis. Do you find yourself checking particular sites every single day hoping they have updated or updated with something you would find interesting? Wouldn’t it be nice to have one particular place to check which websites you like have updated and see with a cursory glance that they have and if it’s worth reading it or not? Well that’s what RSS feeds do. You subscribe to your websites’s feeds and you can read their updates (usually the title or the whole blog entry depending on their settings) from your RSS reader.

Ok, this RSS tutorial is only going to encompass how to read them from your google homepage, which is what I use. There are several more popular ones out there but I think google’s is most user friendly and has the coolest features! Plus, pretty much everybody has a google/gmail account right?

So first thing…go to your google homepage and Sign In with your gmail account info.

There might be a few RSS feeds and widgets on your homepage already. You can easily remove any ones you are uninterested by hitting the X button (just like windows apps).

To add a new RSS feed just click on “Add stuff” which should be in the right top corner. You will see a bunch of RSS feeds you can display. The defaults are the ones ranked by most popular. To add them just click on “Add it now”. My favorites are the Stock Portfolio (so I can see on a daily basis how my stocks are doing!), Quotes of the Day, Local Weather, GMail (I LOVE this one..definitely add it if you use gmail), and the To-Do List (another very helpful one! I keep all of my notes I need to remember here and I am always sure to see them since I check my google homepage everyday).

You can browse through the other categories like News, Finance, Sports, Technology, etc. Just add to your hearts content!

You can also add webpages you don’t see listed. For example, one of my favorite blogs is Dilbert’s blog so I typed that into the top search box and hit “Search Homepage Content”. If you search and don’t find the website try the “Add by URL” button. If that still doesn’t work, then maybe the webpage is not set up to allow RSS feeds. Very few don’t though. You can also use the search feature to look up new blogs about your favorite topics (ie. finance, stock advice, celebrity gossip, hot deals). BTW, you can even add xangas but I would still use their subscription service for that :P

Before you start going crazy adding a bunch of RSS feeds to your homepage here’s a suggestion for organizing your feeds. At the top you can see a tab called Home and next to that you can “Add a tab”. I added tabs called Hot Deals, News, Recipes, Travel, Finance/Real Estate, and Blogs. Now I can add my RSS feeds into whatever tab is appropriate. You can also drag and drop your RSS feeds around the page however you like. Try it!!

So now instead of going to a million webpages everyday, you can just go to your google homepage and quickly see what pages have stories you want to read about and which blogs have been updating.

Here are my favorite RSS feeds you might also enjoy:

Hot Deals: Slickdeals, Techbargains, Anandtech, Dealcatcher, Dealnews
Celebrity Gossip: E! Online, TMZ, Google Entertainment, People
News: time, Reuters, Slashdot, Cnn, Drudge Report, Yahoo News, MSNNBC
Recipes: Allrecipes, Betty Crocker, Simply Recipes
Travel: SmarterTravel, USAToday Travel, Fodor’s Travel Wire, MSNBC Travel, CNN Travel
Finance: Get Rich Slowly, The Housing Bubble Blog, SmartMoney, My Money Blog

There are tons more. You can also start by subscribing to me! haa…I have a button on the left side of my website “Subscribe by feed” and you can click on Google or whatever reader you choose to use.

There you have it. So everyday you can start out your web surfing day by going to your google hompage. Replace this with checking your gmail everyday since you can do it from your homepage now along with viewing all of your favorite websites!

Happy RSS-ing!!


Comment from fobert
Posted: November 9, 2006 at 9:27 am

that’s a lot google adsense. are you banking? haha.

Comment from yangbot
Posted: November 9, 2006 at 1:10 pm

I love how at the bottom it has as a related link the “Gangstas surf the web too” when you’re talking about geeks :)

Comment from Kevin
Posted: November 12, 2006 at 10:11 am

Dunno, sounds pretty geeky to me :)