Newbie's Guide to RSS Feeds and Google Reader

RSS feeds are simplified view of Web content with just text, pictures and videos – minus the site’s style and formatting. RSS feeds, in other words, are the content of a website, which can be viewed on external programs and devices.

For example, ProPakistani’s RSS feed can be viewed on any RSS reader on your laptop or on your Mobile Phone.

As mentioned above, good thing about RSS feed is that it omits all hard coded heavy objects of a website plus – if a RSS feed added in a reader, you will not miss any new content coming on that website/blog. Yet another advantage is that you can browse hundreds of your favorite websites in just minutes. RSS readers will show you only new content.

There are many online RSS readers available, but Google is one of the best. Google reader lets you subscribe to RSS feeds as easily as typing them into your browser’s address bar, and lets you read them like you’re browsing through e-mail. Here we will use Google Reader to subscribe RSS feeds, however, you can use any other RSS reader for the purpose.

How to Find RSS feed of a website?

Almost every website has an RSS feed, and you can easily find it by scrolling around and hunting for the little RSS logo (a little orange box with three white waves).

Google Reader can help you here, you only give the url of any website, or even just the name, it will automatically find RSS feed for you.

Otherwise, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera etc identified RSS feeds automatically and places that orange box along with address bar. Simple click it to access RSS feed of that particular website.

Subscribing to RSS feed

Once you have identified RSS feed (see Sample page below), you can subscribe to this feed. Simply click the subscribe button. It will ask you to read this feed with your desired reader. Select Google and you are done.

Signing up with Google Reader

If you don’t have an account with Google, create a new one, or simple log in using your Google account (Gmail account/password).

Once done – you are logged into Google Reader, and you are already reading RSS feed of the website that you just added.

You can add as many feeds as you want. From now on wards, you don’t need to separately go to each website to read new content, instead simply log in to Google Reader and fetch the content in one place. You may need to organize feeds, once you have a list of hundreds of website subscribed. You can tweak around to increase the productivity of Google Reader.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • I suggest netvibes as the preferred RSS reader . Far far better than google reader and has support for podcasts as well.
    Did i mention it pushes updates in near real time.

  • I am avid reader of ProPk.. but I mostly do that by surfing through RSS feeds.. which from last few months aren’t working at all.. please do see what the matter is.. I use Igoogle for the purpose.. :)
    thanks in advance.. keep rocking this IT portal of pK :)

  • The main advantage of RSS feeds is that you get the latest published content of the website on your browser without even visiting the website. Some times it also used for publishing content of the site right into your web page.

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