RSS can save you tons of time gathering content without you having to go to each individual website. It's a way of 'aggregating' new content by subscribing to it. Your RSS reader goes out to your subscribed sites and alerts you of any new content. It's the most efficient way to check out your favorite sites - without having to go to them individually, only to be disappointed and find nothing new. Safari has an RSS reader built-in, but you can also use 3rd party readers. More on that later.
Here is how to do it:
1. Open Safari
2. Go to www.thinkmac.net (you may already be here).
3. Notice the Blue RSS icon in your address bar. This tells you that the website you are on has an RSS feed for viewing.
4. On the top right corner of the thinkmac.net page, notice it says Subscribe. There are two icons - a Blue RSS & an Orange 'satellite' looking icon (update, we now just have one large red incon).
Both of these do the same thing - open the RSS feed. Click on one of them.
5. Safari will switch to it's RSS viewer.
6. Boomark it. Hold down Command and press the letter D. This will create a bookmark of the feed. Now, whenever I update the site, Safari will show you the number of new items, and you will know there is new content to go check out.
Note: If you don't want to subscribe to a feed, you can click the 'RSS' icon in the address bar to switch to the RSS viewer, or any of the 'Subscribe' icons on the feed. If they are configured properly, it should launch the proper viewing mode. When you are viewing the RSS feeds, you can search them, email them, make the articles preview shorter or longer, etc. It's a fantastic way to keep up to date on all of your favorite sites - without having to check each day if there is new content. There is no 'standard' icon currently. So, you may see things like XML, RSS, ATOM, etc. These all basically do the same thing. Under normal circumstances, you can simply click on any of the buttons and you will become subscribed to the RSS feed. If you want something more powerful, try out some of the RSS news aggregators, and gather all of the content into one program. I like Vienna, NewsLife, NetNewswire Lite, and Newsfire. Some are free - others are not. I will try to do a round-up of them in an upcoming article.