Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

RSS and our holiday home Weblog diary - Explanation of what RSS means and how to subscribe to new articles

RSS Icon

What is RSS and the orange icon all about?

RSS is a simple mechanism of enabling internet users to see what's new on a website without having to visit the site. At its heart is a web page with all the 'what's new' items and articles, which are then wrapped up in a special file layout (known as XML) that computers can read.

To let visitors know that an RSS page (also known as an RSS news feed), is available a little orange picture icon is often used. Many big names on the internet such as BBC News and Google News are now using this icon to keep their visitors informed about what's new on their sites.

What's RSS got to do with this Brittany Holiday Home, and what's a Weblog?

As well as our main holiday home website, Geoffrey and Liz also write an online diary (which you're looking at now) about their adventures with buying, running, rennovating and letting out the holiday home, and also French news and book reviews, travel special offers and occasional chit-chat such as cool websites we come across.

This online diary is known as a Weblog, ours is at, and to make it easier to find and read the new articles each day, we also make them available in an RSS file.

How do I read articles written in an RSS file?

To read RSS files you need a computer program (often known as a news reader) that understands the RSS file format and will regularly check all the RSS files that you have 'subscribed to' and let you know if any new articles have been added. Some of the more popular PC programs that do this include FeedDemon, FeedReader and NewsGator, or for the Mac NetNewsWire.

Increasingly the ability to understand RSS files is now being built into email programs such as Thunderbird and web browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer 7.

Finally there are also a number of different internet services that understand RSS files such as BlogLines, MyYahoo, My MSN and NewsGator Online - these have the advantage that you can read your subscriptions from any computer, or you choose to have new articles automatically emailed to you each day with services such as FeedBlitz.

What do I need to do to start reading new articles you've written?

Once you have decided which program you are going to use, you click the right mouse button on the little orange icon below (which you will also see on the right hand side of every page of the Blog website), then click on Copy Shortcut to copy the internet address of the RSS file, then go into your Newsreader, select 'new subscription' or 'new feed' (the process varies slightly for each different program), and paste in (using control-V) the RSS internet address you copied above.

Whenever we write a new article you will then get a message to say there is something new and you can read it from within your newsreader without having to visit our Blog website.

Subscribe to our Subscribe to our RSS Weblog feed RSS news feed by copying and pasting this internet address into your newsreader.

It's even easier to start receiving new articles by email. Simply enter your email address in the box below, click Go, and then whenever there's a new article (roughly every two days) it will automatically be emailed to you.
Your email address will only be used to send you new articles, will not be shared with anyone else, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
 (Powered by FeedBlitz)

Finally for a few of the more popular internet-based RSS readers there are buttons provided below that will automatically subscribe you to our RSS feed. Simply click the appropriate button depending on which RSS reader you use:
 Subscribe to our RSS feed in Bloglines
 Subscribe to our RSS feed in My Yahoo
 Subscribe to our RSS feed in Google homepage
 Subscribe to our RSS feed in My MSN
 Subscribe to our RSS feed in My AOL
 Subscribe to our RSS feed in Newsgator




  • RSS feeds are so useful, and yet so few people are using them. It would be great if people could see the French Holiday Gite entries in RSS. I created a few video tutorials to help people with this. See the following:

    What is RSS?
    How to add an RSS feed to IE7
    How to add an RSS feed to Firefox

    If we keep putting out the good word, hopefully more people will start using all these great tools that are available on the web.

    By Blogger admin, at February 10, 2007  

  • Thanks for the tip. I like the video tutorials, keep it up!


    By Blogger Geoffrey, at February 11, 2007  

  • Hi Geoffrey

    Brilliant write up about RSS...I love it..would you like to share it on my blog at a later date..when I get to the subject?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 18, 2007  

  • Hi Jackie,

    Glad you like the article, but I have admit that it was written in response to one of your suggestions in the review of our Gite website on the holiday-home-expert Blog.

    I've added a new what is RSS? page to our holiday home website and thought the material was good enough to make into a Blog post as well.

    No problems about sharing it on your Blog, happy to help!

    Cheers, Geoffrey

    By Blogger Geoffrey, at February 19, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home