RSS - What ? Why ? and How?

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is basically a web feed format to publish frequently updating or changing information - in this case the multiple forum posts that will come multiple sources in an non intrusive and automated fashion.

Why to use RSS?

RSS allows u to keep updated with a specific discussion in near real time with little or no input from your side. In other words no need to keep going back to your email in order to see what new nugget of EBM has been given for your reference. Think of it as a newspaper that your computer delivers to you with the difference that you get the news as it happens.

So how do I start using RSS?

Well it is very simple if you are using one of the new generation browsers (e.g. Firefox/Opera/IE) its easy peasy. When ever you encounter a page with this orange colored icon it has a RSS feed attached. In case of firefox the icon is located in the address bar at the right hand corner. Click this icon and a page will open where u will be asked to choose where u want to read your feeds in. In this the default selection is to use Live Bookmarks to open the RSS feed. Click on subscribe now and you will have an entry for the forum post you want to read in the favourites toolbar below the address bar.
IE and opera also have a one click approach to adding the feed. In IE for example when a page appears with a RSS feed a orange icon in the toolbar will light up. Clicking this icon will give you an option to subscribe to this feed.
Once you have subscribed to this an entry will be added to the favourites or bookmarks toolbar which will update itself periodically as the forum posts arrive. You just have to click on the post you want to get to the relevant thread.

How can I get a update about the site?
Actually there are quite a few ways:

  1. Watch Pages The first and easiest way is the use the feature called watch pages. Please remember that this feature will push in updates to your email address which you have used to register for the wikidot site. Also its important to note that all pages that are subsidary to your original page which you are watching will result in any updates being sent to your email. This may mean lots of updates about pages yoy dont care about so be careful. On the other hand its easy to stop watching a page.. simply click on stop watching page and you are done. Note that you have to be logged in for this to happen.
  2. Using RSS feeds This method is neat and has the advantage of not offering you updates in emails keeping your precious inbox neat and clean (but hey you have nothing to read in there have you :-) ). The easiest way to use RSS is the orange icon thingie but that facility is available only for the forum. You can get a RSS feed for the whole site by clicking here and for the forum by clicking here. This feed is for the whole site and is best used by site group moderators to see changes. You can use the code for seeing any page as feed.

Just remember to change the isocentre part in then link with the address of the page you desire as a feed.

Any other way of reading RSS?

Yes you can use feed readers. These are softwares integrated with your browser or stand alone applications which can be used to access these feeds. In addition google provides an online feed reader called google reader which can be use for subscribing to these feeds. In firefox you can set the default method of subscribing to feeds as google reader so that you dont end up cluttering your toolbar with all the feeds you dont want.

So the discussion has ended and I want to get rid of the feed now?

Simple in firefox right click on the favourite and delete. In IE also a similiar and simple process will free up your toolbars from unneeded feeds

Can I see a video?

Yes you can thanks to the good people at commoncraft.

Watching Site

Watching a site enables you to get email updates about the site changes that happen. This is good when you are a site group moderator and want to keep tabs on your precious work.
It is simple to use. In every page of wikidot at the bottom right there is a link Start watching: site | category forum | this page [?] in grey colour. See this screenshot below.


Clicking on the first link will allow you to watch the entire site means every time an idiot like me puts a full stop or deletes a comma you will get an email. the second link category forum allows you to watch a category of sites and the third the selected site.
For more information on watching see this