Info Bleg: Computerheads please help me!

Okay, everyone who reads here with any regularity knows that I am a pathetic technophobe who understands nothing about computers or the internet beyond…you know…I type on keyboard and it makes words on my monitor, and if I use the magic formula, I can link to other people’s blogs.

That’s it, that is ALL I know, and I don’t know if I even want to know more! I get so confused!


Can someone explain to me what an RSS feed is? What does it do? Do I have one? Should I get one? I notice that my stuff sometimes appears at Memeorandum, which is a news aggregator, so does that mean I’m already doing the RSS-feed thing? What does it all mean?

PS: If you are a brave enough soul to try to explain this to me, please use baby words. Very small words of one syllable, accompanied by analogies, similies or parables, if you feel they will help…explain it to me as you would a 4 year old…because I am THAT pathetic when it comes to this stuff. You know how you taught your kids to tie shoelaces by making bunnies and holes? That’s about how you’ll have to explain it!

PPS: No, No, No…I am sorry March Hare, but I must disqualify your answer! We cannot have any of these “I think” sorts of answers, because all you will do is send me wailing off into the night in confusion – they will find me curled in a fetal position, with a bottle of Prozac between my knees muttering…”aggregator…email…RSS…what does it all mean? I’m scared! Mommeee!”

No, no, I must insist. Only answer the bleg if you know what it means.

And don’t all get cute now and start telling me all sorts of different things. For example, if you write that RSS means The Right Side Sucks, I will suspect that this is probably incorrect. If you tell me RSS feeds broadcast my blog to all the Royal Ships at Sea…well, the sad truth is, I might very well believe you! So be nice! Be kind! Please! :-)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Tony Miller

    Hun, RSS is a method of syndicating your content so that it can be viewed in an RSS reader.

    You have RSS enabled and I’ve been using it for over a month via Yahoo!

    At the bottom of your blog there is a block that looks like this.

    The Anchoress is proudly powered by WordPress
    Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

    If you right click on that link that says Entries (RSS), and copy the shortcut, you can then paste it into the URL field of your RSS reader and be notified in one place when new content has been added.

    I am also able to syndicate your content on my site. If you’re interested, I’ll show you what it looks like.

    Any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Tommy

    OK the previous comment is correct you are sending out an RSS feed. If you want to know what an RSS reader is, you can install sage if you have Firefox, or you can read them through as well.

    Unless you are looking for a new or different or better way to read other blogs/sources you don’t need to do anything.

  • Robert M

    It might be easier to explain what you can do with RSS rather than try to explain what it is. With RSS you can use a program (known as an aggregator) to get data from a website and display it in certain formats. In the case of a weblog, an aggregator can display when a blog has been updated, and can display the title of the new post or the content of a new comment. An aggregator can do this for more than one website. If you want a single place where you can find out when multiple blogs are updated, and what the content of the updates is, you would use an aggregator.

    It’s actually very flexible, which of course makes it hard to explain. In any case your blog already supports RSS as far as I can tell.

  • TheAnchoress

    Heh. Thanks guys! Thanks to all who answered and tried to help. I think I have it now. Not that complicated. Gratias!

  • Julie D.

    Just use Bloglines, which makes it as easy as it can possibly be … which is what I do.

    Your blog does support RSS but for looking through a lot of blogs in a short time there is nothing like it … which is the Bloglines thing.

    If you can stand any more about it, you might want to take a look on Glyphnotes where my husband wrote a (fairly) simple explanation for clients who ask that question:

  • newton

    WordPress can handle RSS feeding.
    What I do is that I choose the RSS feeding at the bottom of your blog page, so that I can receive each blog posting of yours under your blog link on my browser bookmarks – Firefox is mine.

    That said, if I just want to see the most recent postings on your blog, I go directly to them on my browser, instead going to your main page.

  • juheimbu

    You’ve gotten several good descriptions of what RSS does, but no one has said what the acronym actually means:

    Really Simple Syndication

  • Misogynist

    You know, I’m around if you or J* need to hassle me about computer stuff. I do professional web development on the side for money and all that.