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Published on 06.15.06 by Brent Trahan

What is a Web Feed

You might have noticed an increase of web feed icons on many websites recently.  Do you really know what they are and how you can use web feeds?  This guide explains what a web feed is and how you can use it to your advantage. What is a Web Feed? A web feed is a […]

You might have noticed an increase of web feed icons on many websites recently.  Do you really know what they are and how you can use web feeds?  This guide explains what a web feed is and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is a Web Feed?

A web feed is a document (in RSS or ATOM format) generated by a website.  The web feed includes summaries of the latest articles or blog posts for that website.  This is a great tool to skim over the latest articles of many websites quickly.  An example of web feeds is the section of MAXIMUMpcguides called PULSE.  PULSE is made up of a collection of web feeds from various websites.

Many people don’t subscribe to e-mail newsletters because they are scared the people sending out the newsletters will spam their readers.  Web feeds are a great alternative to e-mail newsletters.  Since you don’t have to give up any of your information to subscribe to and use them you can’t get spammed.

How Do I Read Web Feeds?

To read web feeds you use an aggregator that enables you to subscribe to and read web feeds.  Internet Explorer 7 comes with an aggregator.  If you would like to learn how to use Internet Explorer’s aggregator check out my Internet Explorer Feeds guide.  There are many different aggregators out there.  Click here to find out more about aggregators.

Example of Web Feed Usage

I like to be “in the know” about many subjects.  Instead of visiting and sifting through many different websites for new information I use an aggregator to view summaries of new content of those websites by viewing their web feeds.  If I’m interested in a particular article or blog post I simply click the article to go directly to its location on its website.

That’s about as easy and efficient as you can get.

What Does A Web Feed Look Like?

Below are two screen shots of MAXIMUMpcguides.  The top screen shot is what you normally see if you visit the site with a web browser and the bottom screen shot is what you see if you are looking at the sites web feed.  Notice how you can skim quickly through the new guides added to the site using the web feed.

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Copyright 2006-2017 Brent Trahan. All rights reserved.