Bookmarks, RSS feeds & email subscriptions

Thanks for visiting PocketPrimer! I hope you find some useful tips here and that you’ll check back frequently for updated content.

To be sure you stay informed of updated content and new articles, you can bookmark the website, subscribe to its RSS feed, or receive new articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Bookmark the website

Bookmarking websites has been my modus operandi for almost as long as I’ve been on the internet.  However, bookmarking is not an ideal method for keeping track of websites and blogs for several reasons:

  • Bookmarks can become unwieldy in a short period of time.  You can easily wind up with hundreds of bookmarked URLS scattered across numerous folders on several different computers.
  • Switching back and forth between browsers complicates things.  If you switch back and forth between a couple of different browser (i.e., Internet Explorer and Firefox) you can waste a lot of time looking for bookmarks in your different browsers.
  • Switching back and forth between home and work computers as well as mobile devices like phones and tablets also complicates things.
  • Bookmarks are static and don’t notify you when new material is available.  You’ll probably wind up opening lots of different bookmarks only to find that the content hasn’t changed.  For some dynamic websites where content changes frequently, you might miss interesting content if you’re busy with other things and don’t get a chance to review the site.

To improve your current situation and gain some efficiencies, think about subscribing to your favorite blogs’ RSS feeds.

Subscribe to RSS feed

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  RSS is a way to have updated content delivered to one place similar to the way mail is delivered to your home mailbox or your newspaper is delivered to your door stoop.  The beautiful thing about RSS is that you only have to go to one place to get updates from all your favorite blogs and websites.  Using RSS really is simple. . . all you’ll need to do is sign up with an RSS News Reader service and subscribe to your favorite websites’ RSS feeds.

Sign up with an RSS News Reader

RSS News Readers are nothing more than mailboxes that collect your subscribed RSS feeds.  There are several free RSS News Readers to you could choose. Internet Explorer has an embedded News Reader and the desktop version of Outlook even includes an RSS Feed Reader that works pretty well.

RSS News Readers have various features and functions to accommodate reading styles and preferences.  It can be somewhat daunting trying to figure out which one to use.

I’ve tried out several different RSS Feed Readers over the years. I am currently using Feedly, an online RSS feed reader. Feedly is a great RSS feed reader because it also offers options and apps to view your subscribed feeds via your mobile phones and tablets. This tutorial uses Feedly to demonstrate how to use an RSS Feed Reader.

Create an account for yourself by setting up a user name and password in the News Reader of your choice.

Go to the Feedly website and click the “Login” button on the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Login to Feedly, using your preferred service (i.e., Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Evernote).

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Add the RSS Feeds for your favorite blogs and websites to the News Reader.  You can usually do this by adding the URL of the blog you want to subscribe to into a dialogue box or by activating and using the News Reader’s Subscribe button.

1)  Adding the URL of the blog you want to subscribe to into a dialogue box

  • Login to Feedly (or to the RSS News Reader of your choice)
  • Click Add Content
  • Input Blog or Feed URL in the space provided (see the red box in the screenshot below).

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  • Select the website you want to subscribe to from the list of websites

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  • Click the green +feedly button (or Subscribe button)

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2)  Some websites include widgets, icons or links that you can click to subscribe to its RSS feeds. If you use a News Reader that is associated with a widget, you can simply click the widget to subscribe to the Feed. If you click the RSS option for the PocketPrimer blog, you can click the feedly button to add the RSS feed to your feedly account.

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3) You can usually find a website’s or blog’s RSS feed address by reviewing the website’s page information:

  • Firefox: Click Tools > Page Information > click the Feeds icon

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  • Internet Explorer: Click Tools > Feed Discovery

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Once you’ve registered with a News Reader and have added some RSS Feed URLs to it,  staying up-to-date with your favorite websites and blogs is really simple.  All you’ll need to do is log in to the News Reader from any computer and with any browser and start reading!

The best way to understand and get familiar with RSS News Readers is by trying them out for yourself.  If you decide RSS News Readers aren’t your thing, you can always unsubscribe from the feeds and go back to your old way of handling things.

Email subscriptions

Instead of subscribing to a blog’s RSS feed, you might prefer to have its articles delivered directly to your inbox.  Many blogs and websites include a way to subscribe via email.

You’ll need to look in the website’s navigational panels to find a subscribe via email link.  When you click this link, you’ll be taken to a sign up page where you’ll be prompted through the process of registering your email address.

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After you register your email address, you’ll receive an email directly to your inbox whenever articles are published or updated on the blog.

The authors of some websites and blogs only provide abstracts of articles in their RSS Feeds and email subscriptions because they want readers to visit their website to view the full articles.  This improves their website statistics and exposes their readers to posted advertisements.

Even though I love having you drop by my blog regularly, and I hope you’ll come back often to share your thoughts and insights in article comments, I provide the full version of blog articles in my website RSS feeds and email subscriptions because that’s what I expect and want in the blogs and websites to which I subscribe.

Subscribe to PocketPrimer

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