Site Feeds for Bloggers and Blog Readers
Table of Contents
Ok, you know how you go to Google News and you see a bunch of AP News Stories and then you go to Yahoo News and see the same AP news stories? It's because the AP publishes just the content of it's news stories. Then Google and Yahoo can go get just the content and put it into their web pages with their "look."
In this great age of personal publishing, you too can publish just the content of your blog! You can tell your journal to create an Site Feed. The feed contains only the content of your blog posts and none of the graphics or look of your blog's web page
Publishing a site feed allows your readers to view your blog posts with a program called a "news aggregator." This program will show the reader all the new posts on their favorite blogs. This is handy for folks like me who read many blogs. Instead of having to view every blog separately, I can see just new posts. If I want to look at your actual blog, I can sill do that and will if I want to leave a comment. But it's very handy to be able to see everything that's new on a single page. This is a lot like the friends page on Live Journal
If you have a Site Feed, it's likely that more people will read your blog regularly. People will check it every time they check the rest of the blogs that they read. Also, some news aggregator programs not only track your blog for the users, if it's a web-based service, it tracks references to your blog. This means that when I read your blog (or mine, as I've got an Atom feed), I can see if anybody has linked to a particular post. This is interesting, as I can see what people are saying about my favorite blogs and if anybody is saying anything about me.
You need a program called a news aggregator. A Google search will give you a list of possibilities. I use Bloglines because it's free and kind of handy. To use it, you set up an account. Then, you add the site feed urls of your favorite blogs. For blogger blogs, the site feed url is almost always http://[blogname].blogpost.com/atom.xml . Most blogs with site feeds will tell you their url, usually in the sidebar someplace. Their link may say "site feed" or "syndication."
Yes, even Live Journal users can publish site feeds. In fact, you already do! If somebody asks you about it, point them at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=149
You've got some real-life friends who are not on Live Journal. They're on Blogger or some other service. You know the publish a site feed, because they've got a link to it on their blog. (The link is called something like "RSS Feed", "Atom Feed", "Feed", or "Syndication".) But you tire of having to go look at their blog every time you want to read it. Why can't they just show up on your friends page like all you LJ-using buddies? They can. You need to create something called a "syndicated account." Fortunately, there exists a Live Journal help-page on how to create a syndicated account. It's very easy. Just go to http://www.livejournal.com/syn/ and type the site feed url into the text box on the bottom of the page.
Unpaid members cannot create syndicated accounts, however, they can add existing syndicated accounts to their friends page, at http://www.livejournal.com/syn/. It works for them just like paid members, so they should consult the same Live Journal help-page. If you are an unpaid member and want to read a feed which nobody has creates a syndicated account for, you will need to talk to somebody who has a paid account and ask them to create one for you. Tell them read the Live Journal help-page and then give them the feed url for the blog you want to read.