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Friday, March 23, 2007

Feed Me!

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Feed me, Seymour! Feed me!

Image hosting by PhotobucketOriginal image taken from here

Lines from a 80's classic musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors... which is what Walski immediately thought of when embarking on this post.

Okay, this post is a bit of gratuitous self-promotion... that's all. Just so that you don't miss a single myAsylum escapade in the future, subscribe to this blog using RSS (Really Simple Syndication). You can either use a machine-installed RSS aggregator (like FeedReader or RSSReader, both free), or use one of the numerous web-based ones (like Google Reader, My Yahoo!, Bloglines, and many others).

Walski did a little revamping of the syndication section of this blog this morning - see right sidebar - to include buttons which enable you to automatically add myAsylum's feed to your feed aggregator of choice. The list of available aggregators is not exhaustive, so if you'd like to see button for one that's not already there, give Walski a holler. And if RSS technology is simply too scary for you, a subcription via e-mail is also available.
(a bit about RSS feeds, and more, in the full post)

For the not-so-tech-savvy, RSS is an XML-based technology that allows syndication of news sites and blogs (or just about any website), and has been around for the last few years. Newer web browsers, like Firefox or Internet Explorer 7.0, incorporate the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds directly, without the need of using an aggregator.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe icon you see on the left has become somewhat of the standard icon for RSS in recent times, and can usually be found on websites (particularly news sites) that have frequent bulletins or updates, and are RSS-enabled. Most blogs have a feed function that comes standard.

For you Blogspot users, your feed link would be something like '' or '' (with the new Blogger platform). Why two? Well, as much as RSS is a standard technology, there are various ways of coding the feed, hence various formats available. We won't get into the nitty gritty of the differences here. There are three prevalent formats in use today: Atom (the first link), RSS and RDF (the earliest developed format, from Walski's understanding). Most aggregators support both Atom and RSS, and so most RSS-friendly sites typically use either one of these two, or provide both. Wordpress users can find their feed link even more easily - your blog URL, followed by the '/feeds/' suffix.

Walski uses a separate feed publisher, namely Feedburner, which takes care of all the formatting hassles and compatibilities. Another neat widget Walski put in to myAsylum some months back is an aggregate of RSS feeds from a few blogs of note, using a service from FeedDigest - also on the right-hand side bar.

So, if you haven't subscribed to myAsylum yet, what are you waiting for? After all, like most good things in life, it's free!