One of the things that’s become quite clear from our readers is that feeds confuse, intimidate and generally baffle people.
Feedreaders and subscriptions and Atom, oh my!
So today, I’m going to give you a quick and dirty on feeds.
What are feeds?
Feed technology allows website owners and bloggers to extend their content’s reach.
Why do I need a feed?
Feeds are a good thing for your blog. Without a feed, you have to rely on people proactively coming to your blog to read your stuff. With a feed, you can be proactive in pushing your content to the people who want to read it.
How do feeds work?
Feed technology packages up your blog content in different ways and delivers it to the people who want it, when they want it, how they want it. Feed technology sends your content to people via mobile phone, email, feed readers and more.
How do I have a feed? I never did anything to get one?
All of the popular blogging platforms create a feed for you automatically when you start your blog.
How do feeds get read?
There are lots of ways that people can read your stuff via feeds.
* Feed readers. There are both desktop-based and online feed reader services where people can read all of the feeds they’ve subscribed to in one place. Google Reader is the most popular in women’s blogging because so many of us use the Google Friend Connect widget, which hooks directly in to Google Reader. But there are many services like Google Reader.
* Email subscriptions. Many blogs have the “get this blog in your inbox” widgets in their sidebar. Those email deliveries are usually handled using your feed.
* Widgets and gadgets. Feed technology packages your blog content into widgets and gadgets that let people read your content on mobile phones, on other people’s websites, and more.
What is RSS and Atom?
RSS and Atom are two different ways of displaying feed content, kind of like WordPress and Blogger are two ways of maintaining your blog. You don’t really need to worry too much about it. When people say, “I subscribe to your blog via RSS” it usually means they’ve subscribed to your blog with your RSS icon and not using Google Friend Connect.
What is the difference between a feed reader and Feedburner?
A feed reader collects all of the feeds a person subscribes to in one place. Feedburner is a feed MANAGEMENT service. It provides a blog owner tools and resources to do all sorts of cool things with a feed. You can offer email subscriptions, generate reports, auto-post your feed content to Twitter and a whole lot more.
That’s all I’m going to cover today. I didn’t want to go into too much detail to start out, but I’ll plan to cover more specific topics on how to use Feedburner on other Mondays.
Have a great blogging week!