Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

RSS Feeds – Sharing Your Message


Diving off the boatIf you’re like me, you’re wishing the captain on this cruise through cyberland hadn’t abandoned ship off the stern. Without a map or navigator and having no clue how to steer this baby, I’ve been feeling my way through the swampland.

You remember those old cars at Six Flags? You just thought you were steering them, but really, they kept going until they hit the metal brace in the center of the path that redirected them. (Sorry for bursting your childhood memories of the first time you drove a car!)

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling this past year as I’ve embarked on my new career. I’m computer savvy, right? I can do this … um … I think …

But RSS feeds completely discombobulated me. I wanted faces on my blog to show how many people followed it. I didn’t put compute that folks clicked the link to follow and then never returned. Not that I don’t appreciate the follow – those are just flat-out encouraging! 🙂 The feeds, though, don’t stand up on stage and say, “Here I am.” Instead they work in the background actually driving more folks to the blog.

BOY ON SCHWINN BIKE DELIVERING PAPERS 1955This is the way it works (as best I can figure.) RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Syndication being the sharing of your message. I know I’m getting really basic here, but I needed to understand every stinkin’ piece of this to wrap my brain around it. I add the RSS feed to my blog. Mrs. Readsalot happens by and reads my post deciding she wants to read more of what I share. She clicks the RSS link and chooses how she wants to receive the new postings. Then when I post again, Mrs. Readsalot will automatically get my next brilliant writing.

Reminds me of when my brother had a paper route and I had to get up early on Sunday morning and blacken my hands folding the news and stuffing them in little plastic sleeves. None of that! Not even hurling them across the handlebars of my balanced bike!

Putting an RSS feed on my site here at WordPress merely required me to add it in my widget page. Totally easy. I could even do it before I knew what it was. But the beauty of it is that every time I make a new post, those who have suscribed to my blog received my post on their “reader.”

When I link to an RSS, it asks me where I want to read it. I have a google account, so my reader is a google reader. I can also choose to collect feeds to my igoogle front page or my yahoo front page.

The bathroom isn’t an option, though.

So as a blog writer, RSS feeds are totally unobtrusive – no smiling faces – although I can find info about how many folks have connected that way. And the value is enormous because it puts my message directly into the “hands” of folks who want it.

As a blog reader, it is also invaluable because it brings me the latest feeds from blogs I’ve enjoyed and found beneficial in the past. I don’t read everything every day, of course, but having the most recent posts sure helps to keep up with my online friends, changes in the publishing world, and general news that I’ll often miss.

Your turn: What was the last blog you clicked the RSS feed on? You haven’t? Well try it! My RSS button is near the top of the right column!

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

16 thoughts on “RSS Feeds – Sharing Your Message

  1. Pingback: RSS Feeds – Part Two | Marji Laine ~ Writer

  2. Hi Marji,
    I knew this was important reading so your blog page has been up on my monitor for a few days now. Thanks for bringing the relative importance of this to my attention. I plan to look into it even further, and, of course, on my own blog. Like you when you started, I’ll be clueless when adding this widget. We shall see where it takes me. (I am still relating to David’s questions, lol.)


    • I’ll be revisiting this topic next week. It can be confusing.


      • I’ll be following. Thanks again 🙂


      • BTW, I wasn’t sure how to sign up for it at your blog. Dragged the widget onto the right side of my dashboard screen but didn’t see anything different on my blog page. I also ran into the ‘links’ issue that one of the other folks who commented alluded to.


  3. How is this better than email subscriptions? That’s what I always use.


    • For me, my email box is a jungle. When I open my reader, I know that all of the posts are blogs without having to weed through to find which are blogs, junk mail, group messages, course work, etc. For that reason, I seldom will do an email subscription, but all the blogs I follow show up in my reader, too.


      • But I don’t even know where an RSS sends the blog to. Where would I look for it?


        • That’s a good question. And it is different for everyone. When I sign up for an RSS, it asks me where I want to read it? It lists google reader and igoogle (their front page) along with Yahoo and about a dozen other sites that sponsor readers. Since I have both a yahoo front page and google reader, I usually opt for one of them.

          Your questions sure are taking my topic to another level, though, David! I think I need to revisit this subject next week too. Thanks for the inspiration!


  4. I don’t know how to add RSS on wordpress. When I moved the RSS to the right side, it asked me to put some links which I couldn’t understand why and what do I put there. It’s there on the widget page, but when I move it to the right side, it asks me to fill in. But what do I put there and what’s their purposes.


    • You know, I never even knew there were things to fill out! Ha! Never opened it, but the app worked. All of the questions have to do with the appearance of the app on your page. I figured it out by just trying it and seeing what it did. I could even change the color – who’da thought.


  5. Thanks for demystifying RSS. I never really paid much mind to it. Now I need to dart over to my blog and see if I’ve included it without knowing!