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What Consumers Need To Know About RSS Feeds
Feeds are simple, really. What's even more exciting is that they are extremely easy to use, and even better, they are completely safe from Viruses, being Spammed or receiving Junk Mail. How? Basically because there is no transfer of information to your computer.
Unlike e-mail, which is a transfer of information (data), feeds are read from files stored on someone's server out in cyberspace. There is no transfer of data to your hard drive at all.
Even better than e-mail, you control what information you read.
Here's an example of how you would find, add and use a feed.
Let's say you are browsing the web and you come across a site you are interested in, let's say a fashion site. Most sites are still using mailing lists, but will be using feeds in the very near future. If you sign up for their mailing list for example, because you may want to know when they have a sale, you will receive information via e-mail. But there could be a few problems with this. First viruses, spyware, adware, etc. are transferred via e-mail, many times without the knowledge of the person who sent it. Second, you may want to unsubscribe from the mailing list but the company may have made it difficult to do that. Third, you may want to actually read their e-mail but it gets recognized as Spam or Junk Mail by your mail program and you may never see it, or you may delete it because you are not sure if you should open it. Although many companies have used mailing lists successfully, they are now finding it frustrating because of Spam and Junk Mail filters, and unwanted Viruses, Spyware, Adware attachments, etc. Additionally the fewer places you leave you e-mail address, the better.
If the same fashion site has a feed however, you can use it to read their information any time you want, and you can delete the feed if you find that it's not want you want.
The first thing you will do is to use a reader. We have a free reader that is easy to set up, and easy to use. Once you have the reader set up you simply add feed URL's to your reader.
When you open your reader the top menu will have some options for you. With our free reader a small window opens when you start up the program. From that small window you can add a feed. The top menu as well will allow you to add a feed under the "File", "New" option.
If sites are offering feeds they should give you the URL of the feed. For example our "OneFeed" feed is:
You would simply copy the above URL, and paste it into "New Feed" window and name it. It is automatically added and updated. You can add categories such as sports, news, weather, fashion, and home decor, whatever you want. You can start to add feeds to the different categories. The reader will update the feeds each time you start the program so that you have the latest updated information. You can even choose to just update certain feeds instead of all of them at once.
When you are viewing the feed you are viewing a file, a RSS or XML file, on a someone's server. No information is transferred to your computer. The file contains information (items). Each item will contain a title, a short description and a link. A feed may contain one item or many items. For example one item may be titled "Lingerie Sale", the description ,may read "40% off our winter stock of brand name lingerie", and the link may point you to their home page or a sales page.
Another item may be an article on spring fashion, and yet another item may be a link to a top designer, etc.
You decide whether you view one item, some items or no items!
The best part is that the feeds are updated by the person or company on their server. When you view the feed tomorrow, it may contain different items or news of more sales, etc. You stay updated and you can receive information as it is posted.
The reader we use tells you if there are feeds on a web site when you visit it. You can then choose to add any or all of the feeds if you wish to your reader.
You control the feeds in the reader. You can delete any feeds at any time. Unlike Spam or Junk Mail they never return because you have to add them to your reader yourself.
This is an example of the way I may use feeds in the near future. If I need to go shopping I will check my reader for feeds from my local grocery store for sales and specials, and other retailers in my community. If I want to know about registration for minor baseball for my kids or what winter programs my local continuing education organization is offering I can check the feed of those community organizations. If I want to book a trip I can check the best online deals from the feeds of travle companies I use. I will save time and money by using my reader to find the best prices on the products and services I want and need, in my community, and from anywhere around the world.
The best part is that I control what feeds I view. I can delete any feeds that I want at any time. This puts me, and you in control!
Once you start using feeds to gather information, whether from online only sources, or from business and organizations in your community that will be using feeds, you will not want to get your information any other way!
To get a free reader and see exactly how feeds work and how they can benefit you please click here.
Read more articles by this author, about this and other subjects, here.
About The Author
Bob Power has been an Internet entrepreneur for longer than he would like to remember. He is currently on a voyage of learning, thanks to his readers, who have asked him to answer questions about topics they want more information on. You can see some of the surprising, and at times exciting results, and variety of topics and paths this has taken him on, or to contact Bob Power please click here.
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