What is all this talk about RSS and subscribing to blogs? You’ll see an icon like the one on the left or some variation of it on any site that provides an RSS feed of its content. RSS is generally referred to as Really Simple Syndication. When blogs or other websites syndicate their content via RSS it means you can use an RSS reader to view the content of that page without even visiting the website.
Generation X Finance is no different. Here we make the site’s content available by RSS feed. If you have a feed reader, you can enjoy the full content of this site without ever having to visit the site if you choose not to. Not only that, but RSS can be used to stream your favorite web content to a number of other pieces of technology.
To get started with RSS, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks the feeds you are subscribed to and lets you read any new articles that have been added. There are many different versions, some of which are accessed using a browser, and some of which are downloadable applications.
A Typical Feed Reader
To better understand what a feed reader is and how it makes following your favorite sites easier, I have taken a screenshot of my current feed reader which just happens to be Google Reader.
Here you are able to see the real benefit of using RSS to subscribe to your favorite blogs. While I’m using Google Reader for this illustration, most feed readers operate in the same way with some minor changes to layout and features.
But the first thing you’ll notice is the the list of subscriptions on the left side. This is where you can see how easy it is to subscribe to dozens or even hundreds of your favorite sites and not miss a single post. You’ll see a list of some of my subscriptions there, and when a blog or site has new content it will be shown in bold with a number next to it reflecting the number of new posts. When you click on one of the links on the left it will automatically load the content in the window on the right letting you read the post right there.
And with Google Reader at least, when you first start it up you’ll usually see a summary of the new content in the right reading pane as you can see in this example. It’s a nice way to glance over the latest posts and get a few sentences to see if any of the content catches your eye.
Other Ways to Subscribe
If you’re always on the go and would prefer to have your content delivered via email, you’re in luck. You can also subscribe to Generation X Finance by Email. Instead of using a feed reader to keep up with the latest posts, you can have each new post sent directly to the email address of your choice. This email newsletter will keep you updated on the latest finance news, money tips, and financial deals from around the web. Subscribing to this newsletter will provide additional content that you can’t get from the website or the RSS feed.