A dummies guide to RSS

Yesterday, at the Lotusphere comes to you event in Minstead Castle (hosted by Triangle), I talked with a number of people who hadnt heard of RSS, and wanted to know how to get into it. So hence this quick and easy to use guide.

1. Blogs

Blogs are Personal Web Logs - the ability for a user to publish their thoughts, ideas (but mostly pictures of cats) on the web. Technorati tracks blogs, and as mentioned yesterday, have indicated that there is over 100,000 new blogs a day. Thats a lot of pictures of cats.

How do you create your own blog ? Well, there are free hosted services - Wordpress, Blogger, Myspace, and so forth. Lots to choose from.

Now as this is a Domino blog - how to do this on Domino ?

  1. Get a domino server, and put it on the internet. Secure it first, though.

  2. There are a number of excellent blogs to choose from - the ones I know about (and in no particular order):

    Its all about choice.

  3. Register a domain. I tend to use BulkRegister, as I have a number of domains. Point this domain at your blog.

  4. Start Blogging. Remember. Content is king.

2. Reading Blogs

Well, you could always just open up each of the blogs your interested in on a daily basis. That gets tedious after a while. For instance, I keep track of over 140 blogs on a daily basis. So how to make this easier ? Well, use an RSS reader. RSS stands for Really Simple Subscription, and is explained here. I tend to use SharpReader - it works for me. Try out a few and see what you think.

Now anytime you read a new blog, you can choose whether to add it to your RSS feed.

If you feel brave, you can download my OPML file. This is an XML standard format that most RSS readers understand, and allows us to exchange RSS references. Sounds complicated, but it boils down to you can immediately import my RSS links, and decide which ones are useful for you. (In SharpReader, click on "File, Import Subscriptions"). My OPML file can be downloaded by clicking here