RSS Feed now available on the Saratoga Battle Chapter web site!
by: Compatriot Dennis Gill Booth
“And just what exactly does that mean??” you ask?
Well, great news for those of you that find it too much trouble or just plain forget to check the chapter web pages regularly for updates on events, new articles, online copies of Battlelines, the Empire Patriot and other important chapter news. Simply put, the news is in your email. Automatically!
We’ll get to how it works exactly in just a minute, but here’s the lowdown: Whether you know it or not, your web browser, no matter what you use to surf the web (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari) automatically scans every web page that you go to for RSS feeds (short for REALLY SIMPLE SYNDICATION) located within that page. If your browser discovers that capability within the website, a little orange button comes on somewhere on your browser’s tool bar or even on the web page itself. You might see something like this: ….or this: RSS …..or even this: XML ….or this: (eXtensible Markup Language - different acronym, same result - How do they come up with this stuff?)
If there is an RSS feed available on the page you are currently browsing, you can simply click on that icon (either on your web browser tool bar OR on the web page itself) and an RSS link will automatically be added to your browser’s “favorites” , “bookmarks” or “RSS” folder.
“So what??” you ask? Patience, please.
Ok, so you clicked on the icon and now you’re subscribed. From that point forward, anytime that site is updated with important news, your browser’s RSS feed client will automatically notify you (and all other subscribers) of the update, and will also create a link that will take you directly to the updated item or page. For example, here’s a snapshot of my Internet Explorer RSS feed from the Saratoga Battle Chapter website as of the moment of this writing:
Four Saratoga Battle Chapter events have been posted for 2009. Check the events page, the SBC news scroller on the main page of our RSS feed for details and updates as they appear.
Let’s examine the components of this feed –
1. There’s the name of the website serving the feed; in this case Saratoga Battle Chapter – Sons of the American Revolution.
2. There’s a direct link to the article, event or news item that has been recently posted on the website or page.
3. There’s the date and time that the item was posted, so you’ll know how current the item is.
4. And lastly, there’s a synopsis of the item’s content.
Not interested in the topic? Don’t bother with it! Interested in the topic? Click on the link and go explore the page! It’s as simple as that, and it will all happen automatically. If you’re using Microsoft Office, your browser may also set up an RSS feed folder in your email client, and you’ll be emailed the same content automatically as well!
Before you worry that you’ll be covered up in “spam” if you choose to subscribe to a feed on a webpage, let me assure you that will NOT be the case. Only information that the website’s editors put in the RSS feed will make it to your email address and browser cache. And… you can UNSUBSCRIBE at any time just by deleting the link from your folder. Done.
For all of you computer whiz types out there, RSS is probably not news to you. It’s all part of the “www2” movement and you probably are already taking advantage of RSS feeds to filter the news that reaches your browser. That’s really the advantage of RSS… you simply visit and discover sites that interest YOU, and then subscribe to the site’s feed so that you don’t have to keep re-checking all of your favorite sites for news and updates. Really Simple Syndication, right?
If you wish to learn more about RSS, XML and web 2.0 and RSS aggregators, visit this site and read up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_(file_format)
Remember, if you want to get the Saratoga Battle Chapter website updates in a simple format with gentle reminders, just go to http://www.saratogabattle-sar.org and click on Subscribe to our RSS feed! It’s right under the UPCOMING EVENTS scroller on our main page.
If you have problems or questions, drop me a line: email@example.com