One of the coolest things I've discovered since I started blogging is the RSS feed.
Before I got into the world of blogs, my Yahoo home page had modules to keep me up-to-date on local, state, national and international news; the publishing industry; magazines I like; advice columns that entertain me; my favorite cartoon strips; practical advice; humor; health information; and local movie showtimes. I chose these modules from lists provided by Yahoo when I was designing my home page. I didn't understand how they worked--changing on a daily or even hourly basis to reflect the latest news of their various topics--but I liked having them.
After I started reading blogs a couple of years ago, I began finding more and more blogs I enjoyed, but it was a lot of trouble getting to them regularly. Whenever I found a blog I liked, I'd add it to my Favorites list. To get back to it, I'd have to click on Favorites, then find the particular blog I was looking for, and click on it--a lot of repetitive effort. Most days it was too much effort, or too time-consuming, and I'd end up having to ignore blogs I would have liked to keep up with more regularly.
Then one day I noticed the "RSS FEED" button on someone's blog and thought, "What is that?" I clicked on it, read the Help information explaining its use, and then added the RSS feed for that blog to my home page.
Voila! Suddenly I no longer had to make a special effort to find that particular blog. Instead, the blog's title and its most recent entry were right there on my home page, and all I had to do was click on them to read the blog. Plus, I could see when there were new entries, so I wouldn't waste time going to the blog only to be disappointed when there was nothing new.
After using the RSS feed for the first time, I went crazy with it. I started adding RSS-fed blogs to my home page right and left. I place them at the top of the page, because the blogs are what I most enjoy reading so I want to read them first.
I now have 28 blog feeds on my home page. It's great, but sometimes reading the blogs takes up all my computer time, and I never even get to the 40 news, information, and humor modules below.
Oh well. This is why net-surfing uses up so much time.
But the RSS Feed is really cool. Instant info on tap.