what is rss and why should i care

December 15th, 2007

What is RSS and Why Should I Care?

At the bottom of each of my posts, there is a little tagline that says “If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!” And many of you have, approaching 600 of you now. But there are still a lot of people who don’t know what RSS is and what it can do for you. So I’m here to clear that up. :)

What is RSS anyway? And why should anyone care?

If you are like me, you read quite a few blogs, and many of them post new content at various times throughout the day (and night). When I first started reading personal finance blogs, I would bookmark each site I liked and go through my bookmarks several times a day to check each of them. This became very time consuming, and I came to the realization that I either had to find a way to do this more efficiently, or cut down the number of blogs I read.

Since it seems every day someone else is starting a blog, and a lot of them are very informative, I didn’t want to limit myself to only being able to check a few blogs. So I started learning about RSS, and I’ve never looked back.

RSS is also known as Real Simple Syndication and it is a method of checking frequently updated content without going to the website – you let your computer do it for you via a feed reader. There are many different feed readers available, I personally use Google Reader, but there are many to choose from. Once you set up an account with a reader, you can subscribe to the feed of any blogs that you are interested in by clicking their RSS button – usually an orange button in their sidebar (mine is in the top right corner and is a bit hard to miss ;) ). Here’s a tip – if you can’t find an RSS button in the sidebar, look up in the address field of your browser (where you type in the web address) – most blogs will have a little orange button located on the right side of that field.

And here’s the fun part – when you log in to your reader, it will check all the blogs you are subscribed to, and deliver any new content at each site directly to your reader! No need to work your way through a long list of sites you want to check. And then, if you want to click through to a site to leave a comment (I highly recommend this :) ) just click on the title in your reader and you go right to the site. I do this to leave comments on posts several times a day.

The best part is – you only check sites when they update! Instead of checking the same site 7 times to see if there is anything new, you can just visit and comment on the new posts when your reader lets you know they’ve appeared. I love it.

If you are a regular reader of I’ve Paid For This Twice Already and have not yet subscribed, I really recommend trying it out. You can do it through a reader or if you would rather, you can subscribe through email by clicking here and get all my new content delivered once per day. It is quite addicting. I was very unsure about the whole RSS thing but once I took the plunge, I couldn’t imagine going back to a life before my reader.

But keep coming back to visit and comment when I do update. I love the comments and they keep me inspired to keep writing and learning and growing every day – and of course, to beat down the debt! If you still have questions please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them! Thanks for being a part of I’ve Paid For This Twice Already!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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11 Responses to “What is RSS and Why Should I Care?”

  1. I am addicted to my reader too. There is no way I could read all the fabulous content in the blogging world without it. As soon as y’all have added paidtwice to your reader, add mine too :)

    Great informative post!

  2. I have to say that when I discovered RSS a few months ago I was a convert, and I’ve been introducing it to everyone I know. All the people that have given it a go wouldn’t go back. It really is one of the best things since sliced bread.

  3. Okay-I just did it. You are my first subscription.


  4. Well gee I sure hope I’m Holly’s second subscription :)

  5. I’ve been thinking about RSS, but haven’t done anything about it yet. Does anyone have any input on readers other than Google, or why you chose the reader you use? Are there any significant differences between the available readers?

    One other question. Is RSS useful for checking on *comments* on an article? I find I often go back to a site several times in a day for this purpose when an article is generating a lot of comment.

  6. Actually, Emily, you were my second subscription.

  7. I recently signed up using Google(thanks Paidtwice), but I am sad that you can’t see the comments, so I usually read the post and then click on it to read the comments. Kind of repetitive, but I do like knowing that there is new content without clicking around to all the blogs that I visit regularly.

  8. Thanks!! You have made my life so much easier with the Google reader recommendation!!

  9. Well you have really helped me understand this new bit of techno, and I thank you for making things very easy to understand for an ‘old fogey’! :-)
    (I had signed up, but was waiting for the emails to start coming!) :-o Now I know how to use this tool, thank you!


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