finding RSS:

September 27, 2006

“These buttons are not easy to find and are sometimes hidden in the Web pageif you come across the blue button, the site is available in RSS feed format. (Pages that do not have these special buttons may also be available via RSS feed, but the button is a sure sign.) ”

 newer browsers have begun incorporating RSS into them directly… for example, the newest version of internet explorer (which is due out quite soon and will be forced down via windows auto update), is incorporating RSS into its browser.

“If the Feed button RSS Feed icon in Internet Explorer lights up, it means that the site offers RSS feeds. Click the icon to see the feed and, if you want, subscribe to have the feed automatically sent to your computer. When you click the subscribe button Add/Subscribe icon, the feed is automatically added to the Favorites Center and to the Common Feed List for sharing with other programs.”

As Cohen states in the quote at the beginning of my post, finding an RSS feed on a site can be quite challenging or unclear… by incorporating notification of feed availability directly into the webbrowser, Microsoft hopes to make RSS feed subscription much more available/apparent to websurfers. Some websites with RSS feeds available can be kind of confusing (see the toronto star website at the very bottom of the page)… not only is the availability of the feeds hidden down at the botom of the page, but it is also somewhat confusing because of the sheer number of available feeds. It often is the case that feeds are hidden at the bottom of page of a website.

 Hopefully as the general public becomes more comfortable with this new technology, it will become more integrated with websites and will be brought from the deep recesses of websites and posted up front, proudly, for all vistors to incorporate and subscribe to.

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3 Responses to “finding RSS:”

  1. amanda said

    Yes, browser integration is going a long way in bringing RSS to the mainstream. Firefox, Safari, Opera, all include the RSS icon too, with integrated RSS aggregators. And probably the most important part of this development? The term “RSS” is being dropped! “Feed” is so much friendlier and approachable anyway, and with aggregators integrated right into your browser, users will probably not even realize that they’re using RSS. Which, perhaps, isn’t such a bad thing.

  2. Randy said

    I totally agree… i think non-techy folks are intimidated by accronyms… i know the folks i assist at work start to go a little bit glossy-eyed when i start talking ‘tech lingo’… and understandably so… The underlying technology is all that matters. however this technology can be incorporated into websites to be as user-friendly as possible, the better… if the term ‘feed’ gets subbed for the term RSS because of the less-than-friendly acronym, then so be it.

    Popularity of web technologies is based on the underlying technology and how user friendly it is… not how user friendly the name is.

  3. klaggs said

    I agree that “feed” is a friendlier (and, therefore, probably supierior) term than is “RSS.” The fact that RSS was once RDP, and that “RSS” has two recognized full-names, and that there are multiple icons that represent “RSS” don’t help the intimidation and mystery of the acronym. But I can’t help but play a bit of devil’s advocate when it comes to denying the potential acceptance of the acronym. The degree to our written correspondence has embraced the TTYLs, BRBs, LOLs, and (dare I write it – WTFs) of acronyms suggests to me that the majority of socially-inclined Internet users expect acronyms. Just a thought, but I’m not prepared to defend it yet!

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