Home > e-infrastructure > How to more easily stay up-to-date using RSS feeds in Windows Live and elsewhere

How to more easily stay up-to-date using RSS feeds in Windows Live and elsewhere

RSS-feeds are a structured format for content items which a computer can read and pre-process for you – thus e.g. aggregate different sources automatically and keep track which information you have not seen yet. For you, that means: fewer menial  tasks, more time for human-grade information processing.

Let me put it another way with a paragraph “stolen” from http://delhitools.net/cisblog/?p=89 on  “Syndication”: “The newspaper comes to your doorstep. You don’t have to drive to NYC or Oneonta to read the news. Likewise, Real Simple Syndication (RSS) delivers news and changes to your “news reader”. Many people have and use “news readers” and don’t even know it, because that’s what shows the weather and latest news headlines in My Yahoo, or iGoogle. One can “subscribe” to any site with an RSS feed using them. But if a site does not have an RSS feed, it requires visitors to keep coming back to figure out what is new. (This RSS in Plain English video shows this very well:

RSS-feeds have been ubiquitous on the WWW for a while – e.g. many Windows Live services and sites come with built-in RSS-feed processing. If you go to your http://home.live.com, “What’s new” is based on an RSS-feed, and you can add other feeds to your live home page by going top “Add web activities” in the upper right corner.

You can also read your “What’s new” feed outside of http://home.live.com, e.g. in Google Reader or by clicking on the orange RSS-icon in the Firefox address-bar:

Note that by categorizing our information in our Blog, we personalize our communication and allow you to subscribe only to the news relevant to you (beyond what is currently supported in http://home.live.login “What’s new” feed):

In the Firefox 3 browser, RSS categories looks like this:

A powerful feature of Windows Live is the What’s new RSS feed which can save you a lot of time by aggregating important news from your professional (e.g. http://hale-interpreting.groups.live.com or http://hale-translation.groups.live.com) and personal (remember, it is only aggregated for you and your login) live. And you can customized what you want to see there, if you at the end of your “What’s new”section on http://home.live.com click on options, like here:

Then you can make changes:

You can even import news from activities outside of your Windows Live network if you add them through the Web Activities link which appears on your http://home.live.com, or go directly to: http://profile.live.com/webactivities, as you can see in this screenshot:

Even better, you do not have to check http://home.live.com regularly or make it your home page – you can export your What’s new RSS feed if you click on the “Feed”-link at the end of your “What’s new”section on http://home.live.com, like here:

Using the link to the feed, you can read this feed in the feed reader of your choice. I keep up to date on all kinds of feeds beyond my immediate professional and personal network using Google Reader, but my professional news is easily visible here also,as you can see in this screenshot:

Categories: e-infrastructure

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