Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sueblimely Discovering Web Design: News Feeds and Blogs

News feeds and blogs have increased in popularity a huge amount lately. The web is becoming more interactive, allowing us to access and contribute information tailored to our interests and needs. I still get a lot of questions from people who are not familiar with either term so I thought I would try and describe them here.

BLOGS

The word Blog is short for Web Log -a kind of public journal kept on the internet. This journal is often updated daily and contains all information that the person maintaining the BLOG (Blogger) wishes to share with the world. eg latest news, views and trends. Anyone reading the blog can post comments on individual articles.

Blogs started out as mainly as personal journals but are used more and more by businesses and organizations as a way to spread information and knowledge. Here a few examples of blogs I read because of a personal interest in the subject of child disability:


News Feeds

RSS/Atom

These are formats for distributing news headlines or blogs on the Web - typically sites that change or add content regularly. The New York Times for example has many feeds.

RSS is short for “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication” RSS is a way of creating a broadcast version (a feed) of a blog or news page so that new content is brought straight to your computer without you having to continually go back to web pages to see if they have been updated. You may have visited some sites daily as a matter of course,(eg your favorite newspaper),but feed subscriptions allow you to chose which particular content or section you are the most interested in. (eg sports, tech, breaking news, finance and business. You are likely to discover other sites of interest, that you would not normally have come across

RSS is the most widely used format and written in a different format code to normal web pages, in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), so it cannot be read directly in your web browser.

To be able to read RSS feeds you either:


Use a program installed on your computer called a news reader (news aggregator or feed reader).

There are many free readers to choose from.

List of feedreaders:

You then subscribe to certain sites (or channels) There are thousand upon thousand of choices – newspapers, blogs on all sorts of topics imaginable, personal journals. Whenever you open your news reader, you will see the most recent updates for each channel you've subscribed to. Typically you will see a title and summary of each item of new content. Click on a link to read the full article.

Read the feeds online Eg:

Use an add-in for your email program or browser.

I use the Sage extension for Firefox to easily add and read my feeds in my browser.

Finding Feeds:

Web sites that offer feeds will have links to the feed, which you can then add to your reader. You will usually see an image of a little orange rectangle with the letters RSS or XML on pages that have feeds. If you click on this link or a text link to a feed you will be taken to an XML file. Copy the address of this page and add it to your feed reader to subscribe. Firefox has good support for feeds and if a site has a feed attached you will see a little orange, striped square in the address bar. Right click on this and you can add a feed to the inbuilt live bookmarks or Sage if you have that extension installed.

Sites that have listings of feeds: Eg:



For more detailed explanations check out:

Del.icio.us:

No comments:

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sueblimely Discovering Web Design: News Feeds and Blogs

News feeds and blogs have increased in popularity a huge amount lately. The web is becoming more interactive, allowing us to access and contribute information tailored to our interests and needs. I still get a lot of questions from people who are not familiar with either term so I thought I would try and describe them here.

BLOGS

The word Blog is short for Web Log -a kind of public journal kept on the internet. This journal is often updated daily and contains all information that the person maintaining the BLOG (Blogger) wishes to share with the world. eg latest news, views and trends. Anyone reading the blog can post comments on individual articles.

Blogs started out as mainly as personal journals but are used more and more by businesses and organizations as a way to spread information and knowledge. Here a few examples of blogs I read because of a personal interest in the subject of child disability:


News Feeds

RSS/Atom

These are formats for distributing news headlines or blogs on the Web - typically sites that change or add content regularly. The New York Times for example has many feeds.

RSS is short for “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication” RSS is a way of creating a broadcast version (a feed) of a blog or news page so that new content is brought straight to your computer without you having to continually go back to web pages to see if they have been updated. You may have visited some sites daily as a matter of course,(eg your favorite newspaper),but feed subscriptions allow you to chose which particular content or section you are the most interested in. (eg sports, tech, breaking news, finance and business. You are likely to discover other sites of interest, that you would not normally have come across

RSS is the most widely used format and written in a different format code to normal web pages, in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), so it cannot be read directly in your web browser.

To be able to read RSS feeds you either:


Use a program installed on your computer called a news reader (news aggregator or feed reader).

There are many free readers to choose from.

List of feedreaders:

You then subscribe to certain sites (or channels) There are thousand upon thousand of choices – newspapers, blogs on all sorts of topics imaginable, personal journals. Whenever you open your news reader, you will see the most recent updates for each channel you've subscribed to. Typically you will see a title and summary of each item of new content. Click on a link to read the full article.

Read the feeds online Eg:

Use an add-in for your email program or browser.

I use the Sage extension for Firefox to easily add and read my feeds in my browser.

Finding Feeds:

Web sites that offer feeds will have links to the feed, which you can then add to your reader. You will usually see an image of a little orange rectangle with the letters RSS or XML on pages that have feeds. If you click on this link or a text link to a feed you will be taken to an XML file. Copy the address of this page and add it to your feed reader to subscribe. Firefox has good support for feeds and if a site has a feed attached you will see a little orange, striped square in the address bar. Right click on this and you can add a feed to the inbuilt live bookmarks or Sage if you have that extension installed.

Sites that have listings of feeds: Eg:



For more detailed explanations check out:

Del.icio.us:

No comments: