Marshall Kirkpatrick helped us start the 501 Tech Club series in Portland with a bang. The notes certainly do not demonstrate accurately the amount of information Marshall presented and the incredible dynamics of RSS, but here are some highlights:

DEFINITION: RSS readers pull in new content from pages you have selected. Instead of you visiting many of your favorite sites and blogs all the time to see if there is anything new, your reader will frequently check those sites and pull back all of the new content for you to browse/read in one convenient place, either on your desktop or in a browser.

POPULAR READERS: Bloglines, Google Reader, Net News Wire, and more

IDENTIFICATION: When you see the RSS icon (orange, soundwave looking image) on a web page or in your browser address bar, you know you can subscribe to that page just by clicking on it. You can either choose your reader from the set of options when clicking on the RSS icon, or you can copy and paste the feed’s subscribe link (that shows up in the browser when you click on it) into the reader of your choice. Different readers have different steps to add a subscription.

READING TIPS: RSS is not like email: you do NOT have to read everything. Just skim headlines for the important bits. Also, It can be helpful to use social bookmarking in partnership with RSS feeds. You can share news you found interesting. Popular social bookmarking sites include and ma.gnolia. (You can create a tag for yourself or your organization, then subscribe to the feed for the tag on the social bookmarking site to see what every else finds!)

REPUBLISHING: Social bookmarking also lets you create a newswire on your site or blog. Marshall publishes a “to share” feed on his blog at

SEARCHING: Google blog search is like using Google News alerts with your email. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of search results from this and most other search sites.

I will be sure to let you know when February’s 501 Tech Club meeting will take place and what the topic will be. You should be sure to come to learn and connect!

Ins, outs and curlicues of RSS
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  • Mazarine

    Great synopsis of the RSS presentation Amy! It takes a real knack to make complex tech topics seem simple, and you’ve done it!

  • Thanks, Mazarine! Have you tried setting up a reader and subscribing to any feeds?

  • Thanks Amy! It sure was a super fun session. Glad it went over well. Take care, keep in touch and see you soon!