Don’t know what RSS is? Wishing that you hade one place online that you could keep an eye on all your favorite blogs? Then a RSS reader is your best buddy!

I just realized the other day that not all bloggers know what a RSS reader is, despite the fact that it’s really simple to use. You don’t even need to know what RSS is, just to use the reader.

No learning of code. Nothing. It’s as simple as reading the newspaper, only more fun since it’s your blog friends that’s writing the news!

For me, it’s also an excellent way of staying up to date what you’re are all up to, while I’m out traveling.

RSS explained short version

Thanks to Blog on travel for leading me to commoncraft that made this video.

So do you wanna be an “Easy Reader”?

1. Sign up/Log in to www.google.com/reader/.
2. Click on Lifecruiser’s RSS Feed subscribe button:

Lifecruisers RSS feed button

3. Click to add the blogs feed to Google Reader
4. Begin your new easy reader life!

That’s all you have to do. And you lived happily ever after. You’ll be grateful for this time saver!

RSS explained long version

If you’re like me, you wanna know more about it, then you can read the whole post :-)

More information about RSS in this post:

  • What is RSS?
  • What use do you have of RSS Feeds?
  • How to get a free RSS Reader
  • How to subscribe to RSS Feeds
  • How to subscribe to a blog step by step
  • Check your own blogs RSS Feed
  • Problems with the RSS Feed

What is RSS?

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a kind of XML format (a set of tags similar to HTML) created to share headlines and all kind of blog content. It’s like a kind of news announcement for your blog. It’s also called feed or channels.

Your Blogger-blog’s RSS default feed is located by the link: http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Atom is a format similar to RSS, located by the link: http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml

You also can see what your RSS address should be according to your used template, by looking in the template code. Locate these lines at the top somewhere:

For a Wordpress blog it’s very similar, example:

If you have redirected your Blogger feed to FeedBurner (now acquired by Google) it might look like this too:

(If it’s a Wordpress blog, just cut out the word blogspot from above)

What use do you have of RSS Feeds?

RSS feeds is a way for you to subscribe to and get a quick list of the latest story headlines from all your favorite blogs in one place.

It’s a must when you know a lot of bloggers you want to keep track of. Making it much easier for you to scan through a lot of blogs fast when you’re behind in your blogging schedule!

There is also other ways of using your feed, for marketing of your blog/site or even to advertise within, but I’m not covering that in this post - it would be too long.

How to get a free RSS Reader

You need a RSS reader first, even called news reader or RSS aggregator, to read the blogs RSS feed in a comfortable way.

I use Google’s free reader to read peoples RSS feed, mostly because I can reach it easily with my Gmail/Google-account. Direct link to Google Reader: www.google.com/reader/.

There are many others RSS Readers out there and if you want to read RSS in my.yahoo.com they have it too.

How to subscribe to RSS Feeds

To subscribe to a website or blog’s RSS, all you have to do is click on an RSS symbol somewhere, either at their blog or in your browser and choose how you want to subscribe to the feed.

Firefox also gives you an alternative way to subscribe to RSS feeds through the browser, called Live Bookmarks, however this procedure is only a good choice if you only want to reach them from your own computer and no where else.

So: choose the online RSS Reader application you like to use instead, for example Google or Yahoo.

I tested how Internet Explorer is handling this, since I use Firefox normally (+Windows Vista). When clicking on the RSS symbols in Internet Explorer 7, an option were given to save it to the Favorite Center in a Feed folder of my choice.

I suppose this means that you only can reach it on your own computer, which is a pity. This way though you’ll be able to use the RSS Desktop Gadget for Vista showing feeds right on your desktop.

I’ve tried to use that one, but didn’t really get used to look at it, so for me it didn’t work well. I wish that they had kept the other opportunity available too, to subscribe via another RSS Reader application.

How to subscribe to a blog step by step

Example to subscribe via a RSS Reader to Lifecruiser feed (in Firefox 2.x):

1. Log into already registrered Google account, if you aren’t logged in already.

2. Click on the this button:

Lifecruisers RSS feed button

(Or the same orange button in my sidebar saying something like: xx readers by Feedburner, right under the Follow The Ship subject line).

3. Choose your application (RSS Reader) you like to use, like Google.

4. Start your new blog reader life made simple :-)

TIP: Go to Manage subscriptions -> Add to a Folder -> New folder, to organize them, because you’ll fill it up quickly!

Another blog might have another RSS button (often an orange button) in it’s sidebar or top/bottom of the blog or just some text link saying something about RSS which you can click on to get a similar result.

Be aware of though that your RSS Reader is very quickly filling up with blogs, so try to organize them in categories already from the beginning, if you decide to read them this way instead of at their blogs :-)

Check your own blogs RSS Feed

Make it a regular habit to check out that your feed is working. Either subscribe to your own blog through your RSS Reader or by following the direct link to your feed. (See in the top of this post how the RSS feed links look like).

Problems with the RSS Feed

If you’re having some kind of problem with your feed in your Blogger-blog:

1) Check the template code that it says the right feed address (the blogger default RSS if that’s what you use)

2) Go to Settings -> Site Feed tab -> Post Feed Redirection URL field

3) See if any other redirection URL of your blog is written in that field. (You shouldn’t have anything written there if you’re not redirecting your normal Blogger feed).

4) Is it the right one you want there?

Example, one of my Blogger friends had her default feed URL in that field without knowing it, which made the RSS feed to break. Blogger obviously couldn’t handle a redirection of the default feed to the default feed URL. Kind of doubled up.

The RSS feed worked again when she deleted that text in the redirection field.

Another dear blogging friend of mine had the wrong RSS Feed URL in the Blogger template code, so it’s worth checking.

That goes if you’re having a Wordpress blog too. Also check if you have some plugin installed that may cause the problem and don’t forget to scan Wordpress.org for some answer.

So have you subscribed to my feed yet? I’m sure that I have to yours, since my Reader is full….

Captain Reader Lifecruiser

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Why not explore the whole world by webcamera? There are many sites with webcameras in the internet, so I’ll just give you an hint about them.

I’m sure you have seen this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again: www.earthcam.com with their excellent webcam worldmap search function.

I also found some really wonderful beach webcams over at www.fisgonia.com, which made me dream away from the terrible Swedish winter season completely!!!

…and when already speaking about snow, this link is for Mar: www.snoweye.com with over 3000 webcams from ski resorts around the world!

See also my other post See Sweden by webcamera.

I’ll make you curious by mentioning that we do have a real trip to plan, more details another time!

Let’s see the world :-)

UPDATE: Found another webcam site: The Webcam-Network, where you also can find nearest webcam if the place you searched for doesn’t have a webcam - yet.

Captain Trips Lifecruiser

Cyber Cruise:
Sur le pont d’Avignon

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Lifecruisers contribution to theme Skinny

Theme: Skinny | Next week: Important

We spotted this skinny tree at the Canarian island Fuerteventura, but it were not noticed by us at first, because we only saw the doves. Before the camera was done with the imaging process, all the other doves that were in the tree did fly away, so you’re not going to see how cool it really was…

As usual when you’re going to shoot some really cool photo, right? *giggles*

The doves most certainly are Eurasian Collared-doves, Streptopelia decaocto. It has not been common in Sweden, they say that it has starting to show up more often, even though I’ve never seen any here around Stockholm or any where else.

This specie spread across Europe in the 1900s, but it’s said to originate from India and then in the 1600s came to Turkey and spread within Europe from there. That’s also the reason for it’s name within Europes countries, Swedish: Turkduva, Norway: Tyrkerdue, French: Tourterelle turque, Spanish: Tórtola turca, Germany: Türkentaube.

See what we have in common here? It’s a globetrotter dove! *giggles*

I’d love to be able to fly myself instead of with airplanes….

Captain Flying Lifecruiser

New Cyber Cruises:
Sur le pont d’Avignon
Ice Sculpture Exposition in Brugge

Latest Cyber Cruise:
Crossing Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento

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