Introducing web feeds

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Neil Fitzgerald
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Introducing web feeds

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:16 pm

BirdingNZ.net now has Atom feeds! What's all this about then? Well, web feeds (e.g. Atom, RSS) allow software programs to check for updates published on a website. What this does for you is provide even more ways to get the birding information you want, how you want and when you want.
I'll post examples and instructions on how you can use this feature here, when I can (I had better go to work tomorrow though, since this took me all of today to straighten out).
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Introducing web feeds

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:39 pm

To make use of web feeds you need a feed reader or "aggregator" program that be used to check feeds and display new articles. Web browsers have some ability here so this is where I'll start.

Safari
A fine web browser. At the right side of the address bar you will see an RSS icon:
Safari-RSS.jpg
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Click it and you will see a list of options that will look something like this:
Safari-RSS-options.jpg
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Click the one you want
  • Feed - BirdingNZ.net -> recent posts anywhere on the site
  • Feed - All Topics -> the first post of recent topics anywhere on the site
  • Feed - Forum -> recent posts in the forum you are currently viewing (Birding.NZ.net in this case, but it could be General Birding Discussion, Bird Sightings and Alerts etc.)
  • Feed - Topic -> recent posts in the topic (thread) you are currently viewing

I think the most useful are the first and third options here, but you may work differently so I have left them. Click the one you want and you will get a page of the appropriate posts, as well as some filtering and sorting options. At the bottom on the right is and action to "Add Bookmark..." which I like to use to add it to my Bookmarks Bar. I then have a link to the feed page at the top of my browser window with the number of new posts in brackets, so I can see at a glance if there has been any activity without even visiting the site.
Safari-RSS-bookmark.jpg
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Introducing web feeds

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:03 pm

Firefox
Things are much the same in Firefox. The other icon typically used to indicate RSS/Atom feeds is at the right of the address bar.
FF-RSS.jpg
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The process is much the same as with Safari, but when you add the feed to your Bookmarks Toolbar you get a button that you can open to show a list of the recent posts so you can go straight to that which interests you.
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Re: Introducing web feeds

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:02 pm

Internet Explorer
Just to be different, Internet Explorer 8 puts the now familiar icon down below the address bar
IE-RSS.jpg
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Select the feed you want as above, then in the next page "Subscribe to this feed". Now you can add it to your feeds folder (hiding with the Favorites) and select "Add to Favorites Bar" to make it even more easily accessible.
By right-clicking on the feed link and selecting Properties you can set how often IE checks for updates etc.
IE-Feeds.jpg
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The Favorites Bar button will be bold if there are new, unread posts, and like with Firefox you have direct access to whichever recent post you like.
IE-RSS-BookmarkBar.jpg
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Introducing web feeds

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:27 pm

Now, saving the best till last; posts to your email! Microsoft Outlook 2007 has built in support for feeds (Click here for details), MS Outlook 2003 doesn't, but this handy add-in, RSS Popper takes care of that.
Now you get a folder in Outlook of recent posts, just as if they were emailed straight to you.

Links you might like to copy to your feed reader:
For posts in all forums:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php

For posts in the General Birding Discussion forum:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?f=3

For posts in the Bird Sightings and Alerts forum:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?f=9

For posts in Priority Alerts (sub forum of Bird Sightings and Alerts):

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?f=16

For posts in the Other Natural History forum:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?f=12

For posts in the Events forum:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?f=4

For posts in the BirdingNZ.net forum:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?f=5

For the first post of topics in all forums:

Code: Select all

http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/feed.php?mode=topics
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ledzep
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Re: Introducing web feeds

Postby ledzep » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:37 pm

Just wanted to let you know that I've got the web feeds being delivered to my new Android 3G phone and it works fine (using the Bird Sightings and Alerts Forum only).

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