The 10 Minute RSS Primer – Getting Up To Speed with Bloglines

    February 22, 2005

Okay, so i’ve become increasingly aware that many of the Threadwatch boys and girls, and Search marketing crowd in general don’t know much about RSS …

This short primer is intended to get you up to speed in 10 minutes or less. I will be adding to this by posting some more quick primers with links to further reading over the coming weeks. Follow the title link for the full post.

What you will learn here
This post is simply intended to get you to the point where reading and using RSS is simple. Including subscribing to RSS feeds and using the most popular web based Feed Reader: Bloglines.

There are many other ways to subscribe to RSS feeds. There are in fact many good aggregators out there including My.Yahoo and the Sage plugin for Firefox – The point here though is to get you up to speed in the fastest time possible – one of the neat features of Bloglines and most other aggregators is the importing and exporting of OPML so if you find you get a taste for RSS (as you should) then you can always export your feeds and then import them back into something else at a later date.

Open an Account at Bloglines

First, get a bloglines account – just follow the instructions, it’s ever so simple and should only take a minute.

Start out with Some Good Search Feeds

I said this was going to be easy and quick right? Well, it is. Below is a list of some of the better Search related blog feeds – the links themselves are special, they will automaticlally take you to your bloglines account and prompt you to subscribe to the feed. Go ahead and try it, you should find the interface quite self explanatory…

  • Threadwatch
  • Googe Blog
  • Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo)
  • John Battelle
  • Peter Da Vanzo’s Search Engine Blog
  • Barry Schwartz’s SE Round Table
  • Search Engine Watch
  • Yahoo Search Blog
  • Aaron Wall’s SEOBook
  • Search Views
  • Ask Jeeve’s Blog
  • Jason Dowdell’s Marketing Shift
  • Rand Fishburns SEOMoz
  • DaveN’s blog
  • MSN’s Search Blog
  • DG’s Desk
  • Andy Goodmans’s Traffick
  • Search Engine Lowdown
  • And a few more general ones of interest:

  • Jennifer Slegg’s Jensense
  • Steve Rubel’s Micro Persuasion
  • Clickz News
  • BBC – Technology
  • Cnet’s
  • Tara Calshain’s Research Buzz
  • Slashdot
  • NYT – Technology
  • Engadget
  • IT Conversations
  • Business Week
  • Robert Scoble’s Scobleizer
  • Jason Calacanis’ Blog
  • Fred Wilsons A VC
  • Library Stuff
  • Boing Boing
  • Disclaimer:
    Those feeds listed above are not in any particular order and are not my complete list. They’re just a small fraction of what im subscribed to and there are many many ommisions – those are simple some of my favorites. So no beating me up ‘cos i didn’t put your blog in ok? heh..

    Checking Your Feeds & Subscribing to More

    Bloglines updates once an hour, so all you need to do now is bookmark your feeds page and check it a few times a day to keep up with the feeds you’ve subscribed to.

    To subscribe to other sites you’ll need to first check that they actually have a feed :) Usually you’ll see an orange XML button, or a specific bloglines subscribe button somewhere in the navigation. You can see Threadwatch’s just to the left at the bottom of the menu there. If there is a specific Bloglines one, then just click it, if not, grab the url of the XML link (or Atom, more on that another time..) and then go to your bloglines account. On the left panel, you’ll see a link to “add” – jusct click it and paste the XML URL into the form and your done.

    Easy eh?

    More on the way…

    For now that’s it. You should hopefully be subscribed to a few good feeds, and be able to subscribe to more when you find them. Next time, i’m going to show you how to use the bloglines notifier plugin for Firefox, and talk about why this stuff is very, very important to anyone that promotes websites.

    If you have questions, or want to add to what i’ve said, go right ahead…

    Nick Wilson is the publisher and founder of

    Threadwatch is a group blog, or forum if you prefer, focusing on Marketing and Related Technologies – News and discussion for those that make their living on the WWW – Register here to participate.