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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 12 months ago

Real Simple Syndication (RSS)

Imagine how nice it would be if you could go to one place to find out if any updates had been made to your favorite websites or blogs. Even better, imagine if you could automatically notify your supporters when your organization made updates to your own website or blog. With RSS, you can do both these things.


RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. Or as Back in Skinny Jeans describes it "Read Me Some Stories." Basically it's a way that you can sign up at a website to receive automatic updates when new material is added to the blog or site. Used properly, it can help you relieve your cluttered inbox, as well as provide your various stakeholders with a continuously updated stream of interesting, relevant topics.


RSS is great for helping you get better organized. But it's also a good tool to use with your supporters to update them on a regular basis.


If you want to learn more about how nonprofits can benefit from RSS, read this article.


This article does a nice job of explaining RSS in more detail. So does this article.


RSS Tutorials


Setting Up an RSS Reader



Adding Feeds to Your Reader




Using RSS to Read Stories

To use RSS to be updated on the sites that interest you, you will need to:


#Sign up for a newsreader or aggregator

#Go to the sites you want regular updates on and sign up for their feed.


Signing Up for A Reader

An RSS newsreader or aggregator is a service that will collect information from all of the sites that you sign up for and pull the new information into one location. It's like having your own personal table of contents to new material on all of your favorite sites.


There are several aggregators to choose from and which one you choose will largely be a matter of personal preference.


Some options to consider include:





Signing up for a Feed

Once you've installed your reader, you will then want to sign up for a feed. When you're visiting sites that update frequently, look for a symbol that has RSS, XML, or Atom or that suggest you "Sign up" or "Subscribe" to the site.


Follow the instructions to sign up for the feed.


For additional information on getting the most out of using RSS, try this article.



Additional RSS Resources


120+ RSS Resources

Using RSS to Update Supporters

RSS is also a great service to provide on your organization's blog or website. It will allow supporters to sign up for automatic updates. You can also keep track of how many people sign up for your feed to get an idea of who's reading your blog or website.


If you're using a blog, most blogging software provides instructions on installing the option for users to subscribe to your feed. If you don't see them, use the "help" menu to get more information


For more information on establishing a feed, try this article from TechSoup. This article gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up an RSS feed.


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