Saturday, August 25, 2007

Instructions for the Technically Cautious

For the benefit of those who haven't spent hours piddling around the internet or who lack an innate sense of dot-comity, I thought I'd give a few pointers on how to enjoy a blog.

The trick is to get the feed. Someone invented something called "RSS" and it's great. I'm not sure it works on every computer or with every browser, but if you can do it you'll find keeping up with things much easier. Here's the deal: certain websites, like this one, can automatically let you know when they've been updated. That way you don't have to get on all the time to check, nor do you have to go searching the entire website to find new stuff.

If you're running a Mac with Safari, you know a site has RSS if those letters show up at the end of the address bar when you visit a page. Click on the letters and the page will change to the RSS feed view, a series of headlines of the most recent updates. If you add this page to your favorites, you can always come back and see what's new. If you put the site in your bookmarks bar, a number in parentheses after the link name will tell you if there are any updates, and how many. (You can set these things in the Preferences under the RSS tab—check it out!)

If you are using the new Internet Explorer 7, RSS is built into the browser—it looks like an orange box with three white, curved lines in it. Look for it on the top right of the window, in with the home button and the other helps. If the box is lit up, that means RSS is available for the site. You can goof around with it and see how it works—I'd tell you but I'm not sure myself.

I hope this helps a little. It sure helps me, and it makes it much easier to enjoy the internet without feeling like a total nerd. (Oh, also there's a link near the bottom of this page that asks if you want to subscribe. Click it?)

1 comment:

Janssen said...

I guess the real question is: do you use a Mac or a PC? I think you're great and all, but I have to admit I'll think you're a smidge more awesome if you are a Mac user.