RSS feeds are the latest way to stay current on your favorite blogs or other websites. What is RSS and XML feeds? These are URLs that are setup to be read by feed readers. They are designed to display the most recent blogs or posts and are automatically updated when a new post has been added to the site. As you may have noticed the top of my Space has 3 feeds and one is from a friends MSN Space.
Readers are popular with big sites who wish to aggregate mass amounts of blogs to one source for easy reading by their users. Some of the largest of these sites are News Readers. For example, political bloggers may have their RSS or XML feed submitted to aggregators so they can get traffic and comments from people that are interested in what they are blogging about. In previous posts I have shared which sites I sumbit my RSS too and they are KingPing, Ice Rocket & WeBlogAlot.
I submit my RSS url to these site to let them know I have "updated" and hopefully will place my feed on their site. Now that we are through a little background here is how to add the module to your MSN Space.
Follow these steps
1. Login into your MSN Space
2. Click on Customize
3. Click on the Modules button and from the drop down list select RSS feed
4. Click save
Now the RSS feed reader module should be available for editing. Now you just need to find a url to place in the reader. This is where it can be a tad tricky but no fear it isn’t too bad. There are couple types of URL address you can add into the reader. Here are some examples and take special note to the last part of the address.
MSN Spaces use an feed.rss as the last part of the URL to distinguish it from a normal web address. If you add feed.rss to the end of your address then you will go to our RSS Feed page.
Mine is as follows, http://spaces.msn.com/goingbigger/feed.rss
Now others sites can use a variety of other addresses and the page will look at tad weird but don’t worry the reader is designed to translate the garbled page into a usauble language. MSN has a page that you can select XML address on a varitety of topics, View MSN RSS Homepage. See the little icons that say XML? Click on one of those and you will the garbled page I described and note the differences in the ending of the address, http://www.msn.com/rss/alsoonmsn.aspx. And for kicks here is the one from FOX Sports, http://feeds.feedburner.com/foxsports/RSS/NFL.
If you see an icon like this or this then just click on them and copy and paste the url into the RSS feed reader, rename the module (if you so wish) and the select how many posts you wish to display and voila. You and your readers will now know immediately when a space is updated.
Please let me know if any part of this is unclear so I can update this page. Also ask questions or share your uses of the RSS Reader. Have fun because it is a great way to keep up-to-date on your favorite sites. My favorite is my NASA image of the day. Now I get the updates delivered to me directly and isnt that what having a blog is all about? Personalization.
Hope your weekend is going well because mine is starting out great. Anyhoo catch ya later…