My mom has an awful time understanding technology. One of the best methods I have found to help her understand technology is to equate it to something she understands. My mother is a very intelligent woman, holding a Masters Degree, she worked in an office most of her life. When she got her first computer, she could not understand what was going on when Windows informed her that there is insufficient memory to run the application.
She would say that I have “10Gbytes of memory” (dated isn’t it)!
What she did not understand was the difference between storage memory and system memory. I told her that the storage memory was how big of a file cabinet you have to store folders, documents, etc. the system memory was how big your desk is to put those documents and folders on for use. That helped her considerably.
I will be writing a series of articles to introduce some of our more technologically challenged to some of the marvels that are available. As I find more marvels I will be adding, and introducing them.
I would like to introduce the readers of Lehman’s Country Life to the idea of RSS (Real Simple Syndication).
“Great” you say “but what does it mean to me”?
What is RSS?
I saw a blog posting elsewhere that described RSS as (Ready for Some Stories) I thought that was good. In one simple click you can get all the latest postings from Lehman’s Country Life and your other favorite blogs as well as the comments. Uber Cool huh? Most of the modern browsers have a built in feed reader including the latest release of Internet explorer (version 7) from Microsoft and FireFox from Mozilla. You can also utilize the services of some of the feed reading services on the web like bloglines or google. Some additional reading can be found at What is an RSS
So what do you get for your effort? The simple answer: Easy access to Lehman’s Country Life content or the content of your other favorite sites. This is another tool that you can use to get the information you want quickly and painlessly. Is it worth it? That depends on how you like to get your information, but I would recommend that you give it a try. This stuff isn’t popular for no reason.
Ok, I have your attention and you want to know how to start using it. Most of this is very simple, but the answer depends on you. Would you like to use one of the feed reader services like bloglines or do you want to give the browser a try?
I will go through the basics of setting up and retrieving the feed using the two most popular browsers, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s FireFox. I will post instructions for the other popular browsers Opera, Netscape, and Safari if folks would like to know. I will also outline the basics of RSS using Apples if requested.
- Subscribing using Mozilla’s FireFox
- Subscribing using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer
- Retrieving Feed using Mozilla’s FireFox
- Retrieving Feed using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer
- Other Feed Readers
Personally, my favorite browser is Mozilla’s FireFox, I am currently running version 188.8.131.52. Lehman’s Country Life has two links in the sidebar at the right of your browser window (you may have to scroll a bit) under the heading RSS Feeds. Clicking on either of these will open up a page that will allow you to subscribe to the feed (no personal information is transferred), the page that opens will also allow you to choose the feed service for your RSS. Lehman’s Country Life offers you two types of feeds, you can subscribe to Articles to get a feed of nothing but the Articles (Posts) like this one. You may also subscribe to the Comments Feed that will provide you with easy access to the comments that are posted in Lehman’s Country Life.
You may also see a small link in the address bar if you hover over this you will see the text Subscribe to this page if you click on this, you will be taken to the same page as clicking on the Article feed icon in the side bar.
Subscribing using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer
Then there is Internet Explorer (IE), I am currently running version 7, when I use it. Still a very popular browser, with version 7 it finally provides a feed reader. When you are on Lehman’s Country Life, IE will recognize the presence of a feed. In the menu bar to the right is an orange feed icon similar to the one that is in the sidebar of Lehman’s Country Life. Clicking on this will open up a page to subscribe to the RSS feed.
Mozilla’s FireFox uses the bookmarks folder to display the feeds. I have my feeds loaded into the Live Bookmarks this will cause the feed to be displayed at the top of the browser below the menus a simple click on the down arrow will display the feed content. Just that simple, where ever you put the feeds is where they will be displayed. If you would like to read the post simply click on the post title to be taken to the page where you can comment if logged in. Very simple.
In Microsoft’s Internet Explorer you click on the star on the left of the browser window at the top and in the sidebar that opens click on Feeds this will open the built in RSS feed reader. What is displayed depends on the setting in the RSS feed and feed reader. You can display an excerpt or the entire post. If you would like to read the entire post click on the title of the post to open the web site and the rest of the post, where you can comment if logged in. Piece of cake huh.
Other Feed Readers
Other Feed readers are available, the set up and use depends on the service for example if you would like to use Bloglines their instructions are simple. Googles feed reader is similarly as simple. In both cases the service asks that you set up an account, which is painless. There are many out there, however I will not bore the reader with a comprehensive how-to. I hope this helps you to enjoy Lehman’s Country Life a little more.