RSS feeds: what they are and how to use them

RSS logo

News feeds allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest headlines in one place, as soon as its published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. These feeds are just a list of items, each item containing a headline, a description and a link to the item's web page. Essentially the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people.

The Dark Fortress' feeds are syndicated by FeedBurner. This allows us to add neat features such as enabling feeds to be emailed, or saved to selected social media sites. Our feeds are also automatically turned into a short Tweet containing a headline and a page link.

To view RSS feeds you will need an RSS aggregator, more commonly known as a 'reader'. The reader checks the feeds you are subscribed to and displays any new content. This means you don't have to check many individual websites for updates — the reader does it for you — and presents many feeds from multiple sources. Typically a reader will automatically check for new content every hour.

This has now become the primary way I interface with the internet.

How do I start using feeds?

In order to use our RSS feed follow these two steps:

Step one

You can download FeedReader3 for Windows, Shrook or RSS Menu a nice unobtrusive reader for Mac OSX. All free RSS aggregators to use on your desktop.

Or, for free online RSS readers, since the demies of Google Reader, my personal preference is for Feedly – really stylish reader with a minimal interface. There are many other RSS readers available both for desktop computers and Android/iPhones.

Step two

Click on the RSS logo above, or at the top of any page, or the RSS link on any page footer. You will be taken to FeedBurner where you can choose to subscribe to our feed using your preferred reader.

And that's it, you will start to receive feeds detailing updates and additions to The Dark Fortress.


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