If you use Firefox, IE7, or IE8, I have a nice little shortcut how you can keep up-to-date information on this site.
You probably heard of RSS, which stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. In short, RSS allows you to be notified of any new content on RSS-capable sites (read: most sites).
I’m sure you’ve seen the symbol, it looks like this:
The neat thing is the fact that you can do this for all major sites. For instance, I have SRK, Dailytech, tomshardware.com, and others all coming to my RSS feeder. I can then just read all the new stuff right there on one page, without manually going to each site.
Isn’t that neat? So … how do you use RSS? Easy, you just need to subscribe to the feed by clicking on the icon shown above on your browser when visiting that site. In both IE and Mozilla, it will ask you to confirm your subscription and BAM! You’re done.
So what happens if SRK reveals the next character in Super Street Fighter 4 and posts it on their blog? Well, at first, I thought that when a new RSS feed becomes available, IE/Mozilla would notify you of the new feed. As it turns out, that is NOT the case. For Firefox users, you’re (sorta) in luck; there’s an RSS Feed Sidebar extension that will notify you of new feeds. The reason why I said “sorta” in luck is that this extension has had issues with missing some RSS feeds and other random errors.
For IE7/IE8 users, the only option is to use the Windows Live Mail RSS Reader. This isn’t as bad as you think–as long as you have a Microsoft email address (msn.com, live.com etc). The neat thing is that it does notify you of newly downloaded RSS content. However, if you don’t have a Microsoft e-mail address, then using the Windows Live Mail software might not be as appealing. Another caveat is that if you’re a Windows XP user, you will need to download Windows Live Mail software and must have IE7. Sooo .. why not just use the reader in IE7?? Right.
Moving on …
So what if you use an older version of IE (6 or below– NOT recommended) or you use Google Chrome? Better yet, what if you want to get the latest updates without the need of your browser being open? Well then, you will need a RSS Reader. You have two options:
1) If you have a Gmail account, you can subscribe to RSS feeds and when there’s any new content, Google will send you an email. But you may ask, “doesn’t that mean that I have to login to Gmail account to see if there’s any feeds?” Actually … NO
You can use Google Notifier for Windows or Mac. That way you are instantly alerted when there’s new content available. The nice thing about Google Notifier that it shows you a preview of the new message so you can decide if it’s worth checking out or not.
You can also use http://www.igoogle.com ; which shows RSS feeds as well as your inbox for your Gmail account.
You can download a standalone RSS Reader. Most of the good ones cost money, and if you’re willing to pay for one, FeedDemon is what I recommend. There are free RSS Readers, but be careful. As the saying goes: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”. So beware of malware/spyware included in these “free” readers. If you don’t want to pay one, then the solution is simple: USE GOOGLE READER!
I use Google Reader (I use Chrome, which doesn’t include a reader like Firefox/IE). I set my homepage to http://www.igoogle.com (which has the RSS feeds right there on the main page). That’s not to say that the RSS readers included with Firefox/IE are no good; but they don’t notify you of new updates which partially defeats the purpose of RSS.
I promise you, once you start subscribing to RSS feeds, you’d wonder how’d you ever use the web without one. GET TO WORK! Here’s a few sites I’d recommend for fighting gamers: