What the Heck is RSS?

And why should I care?

Good questions. First, here’s why you should care.

Unlike getting website updates or ezines by email, RSS feeds give you absolute, 100% complete control over the situation.

You don’t have to reveal your email address. If you want to stop receiving content, you don’t have to request to be “taken off the list.”

One click, and poof… the subscription is gone.

Plus, since there’s no email address involved, there’s no way a publisher can sell, rent or give away the means to contact you.

That’s right… no more spam, viruses, phishing, or identity theft. And best of all, no reason to put yourself at the mercy of the publisher’s intentions.

You won’t need to suffer through the legalese in the privacy policy (if there is one) looking for loopholes that will send you deeper into inbox hell. No more setting up dummy Hotmail accounts “just in case.”

Again, if you don’t like the content, you can make it disappear as fast as you can change a TV channel. With just one click.

Pretty cool, huh?

That is cool! Umm… What the heck is RSS?

Alright! Now we’re ready to get to that part.

RSS is a simply an Internet technology standard that allows busy people to receive updates to web-based content of interest.

You might have figured that much out by now. But basically, that’s the essence of an RSS feed – you subscribe and then receive new content automatically in your feed reader.

If you actually want to know how RSS works, click here.

What is a ‘RSS Feed Reader’ and How Can I Use it?

RSS feeds are document formats which allow you to keep up to date with content on all blogs and the websites you come across while surfing the net.

When you subscribe to an RSS feed, the feed reader will check the website you subscribe to for new content. If there are any new articles, they will be displayed within the reader itself.

Here’s a 3 minute video explaining how RSS feeds work in plain English:

Want to skip the video and just get started?

It’s just three easy steps:

  1. Sign up for a Free feed reader (I recommend Google Reader).
  2. Come back to this page and click on this link to receive free updates from Hardware Revolution.
  3. And you’re done! Remember to check your feed reader daily to see if new articles from Hardware Revolution have been published.

All the published articles from Hardware Revolution will show up automatically in your feed reader. If you’ll like to, start subscribing to other blogs or websites you fancy as well.

Can I Choose to Subscribe Via Email Instead?

Definitely. It’s not a problem. If you’d like articles from Hardware Revolution to be sent directly to your email inbox, just click this link. You’ll see this page:

email

Fill in a legitimate email address and enter the captcha as it is displayed on the page. Don’t worry if you get an error message while typing in the captcha the first time. It happens occasionally. Just type in the captcha one more time.

Once you see the screen below, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails.

confirm

You’ll only receive one email every day regardless of the number of articles published. For example, if I publish 5 articles, you’ll get them all in one email newsletter. This will be the same even if I publish only one article in a day.

All email subscriptions are managed by Feedburner.com and you can unsubscribe anytime with a click of a mouse. For your convenience, instructions for unsubscribing are included in each email newsletter as well.

Please be assured that your email will kept in the strictest confidence and will never be used for spam or shared with others without your permission, so please use one that you check regularly.

In summary: RSS solves BIG problems.

So there you have it… RSS is being adopted at a phenomenal rate, because it’s a good thing for everyone.

The benefit to readers is obvious. And it’s good for publishers too, because we want to make sure that people feel comfortable subscribing, and that our message is not nuked by an overzealous spam filter.

If there’s anything here that is confusing, or you have a question, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help!

Thanks to Copyblogger for a helping hand with this tutorial.

If you have any trouble subscribing to Hardware Revolution, please contact me. I’ll be happy to help you figure the problem out.