Journal Entry

30 April 2005 ... RSS, I am syndicated

Static8 Journal rss feed
Yay, now I'm all high tech with my new rss feed. I was definitely feeling behind the times, but now I'm cool. And boy, am I having fun!

okay, first you have to figure out what RSS is. It's a way of quickly viewing web site updates. An RSS aggregator is a program that will gather and display news headlines, and a short description of the article. No graphics to download and no advertisements to wade through. Just some text to glance over (which makes it really nice for handhelds, too). Click on the articles that interest you, and don't bother with the rest.

In our world of blogging, the RSS aggregator will display each of the recent journal entry titles. You can see if your favorite blogs have been updated or not. And usually, you can read the entire blog entry in the aggregator (instead of just a little descriptive blurb like the news sites have).

If you click on that little orange button that says "XML" your browser will show a page with a bunch of excessively boring code. fun, huh. (well, fun for me!) So, you need an aggregator to read all that crap.

There are lots of RSS aggregators out there. Some are free, some are not. Some are stand alone programs, some work inside your browser. There are different ways of displaying the RSS information. You've just got to go out and do some experimenting to find something you like.

Right now, I've got one that is integrated with my browser. Sage is a Firefox extension. I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to add feeds to my list... and once I figured it out, I went and changed the guy's, uh, rather incomplete Wiki page. heh... that's right, I've played with your program for less than a day, and I already know how to write better instructions than you do. People should take a class in technical writing before they start typing instructions to their own program. haha, just kidding. kindof. not really.

Anyway. Now that I've figured out how to read everybody else's RSS feeds, I must have my own!

I got my learning started on this page: Sharing Your Site with RSS. But the important page to read is the RSS 2.0 Spec Sheet. That page has all the codes you want to learn, and some sample files to get you going.

It's really easy to learn! And my first try validated perfectly. um, my second try was a minor failure. But we fixed it! They gave me a little rss heart for being a perfect xml coder.

Right now, I've just got the last three journal entries (Earth Day, New Garbage, and this one) displayed in the feed. I'm doing the coding manually, which is quite tedious, but I tend to be a control freak when it comes to my web site. haha.

In my rss feed, I'm adding the entire text of each of my journal entries, minus URLs. And I don't think I'm going to add any photos from the entries... I think that kind of defeats the purpose of a quick download, ya know. So, I'll put a marker in the feed, to let you know there are pictures, and you'll have to come to my web site to view them.

So anyway. Add my feed and be cool like me! :)

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