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RSS Feeds Demystified
How can you benefit from an RSS feed?

RSS sounds like something you’d find on a loan form, like Regulatory Savings Stipend. In reality, it’s a huge time-saver for anyone who regularly visits more than a few Web sites. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, a technology that enables sites to come to you instead of your having to go to them.

Here’s how it works: When you visit a news site, blog or other Web page, you “subscribe” to it—usually by clicking on a specially marked icon somewhere on the page. Once you’ve subscribed, new content from that site is automatically fed to your “aggregator,” which can be a special program or Web service designed expressly for viewing RSS feeds. Ultimately, the goal is to see news and new posts under one roof instead of jumping from site to site to site.

To get started with RSS feeds, try Google Reader (google.com/reader). It’s a free service accessible from any Web browser (and most mobile phones), and it doesn’t require you to install any extra software. (You’ll need to create a free Google account if you don’t already have one.) Once you’re signed in, there are two ways to add feeds: manually, by clicking “Add subscription,” or automatically, by clicking the “Add to Google” button or RSS icon on a site you want to subscribe to.

For example, at real estate blog Client Centric Consulting (clientcentricrealestate.com), you’ll see a large orange icon that reads, “Subscribe in a reader.” Click it, then click the “+Google” button on the following page. That’s usually all it takes to add a feed to Google Reader. If you can’t find a subscription button, your browser can help: In Firefox, look for the telltale orange RSS icon at the end of the address bar. In Internet Explorer 7, click the orange RSS icon on the toolbar.

If you maintain a regularly updated blog or site of your own, you should make sure visitors can subscribe to your RSS feed. Most popular site hosts (like ActiveRain and Blogger) enable this option by default, but if you have a custom site through your company or an independent hosting service, check with the administrators to make sure RSS is enabled.

5 Subscription-worthy Sites
Want to try out an RSS feed? Consider subscribing to these sites.

Agent Genius agentgenius.com

Real/diaBlog realdiablog.typepad.com

Real Estate Marketing Blog houseblogger.typepad.com

Sellsius blog.sellsiusrealestate.com

The Real Estate Bloggers therealestatebloggers.com