The Silmarillion Writers' Guild--An Online Community for Silmarillion Study and Fan Fiction

TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

What are RSS feeds? How can I use RSS feeds to get updates on the SWG archive?

Our archive offers an RSS feed to allow you to keep track of new stories that have been submitted to our archive. If you don't have time to check the archive daily, the feed will notify you of updates.

Wait, what is RSS exactly?

RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, web logs, and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS feed, available to anyone who wants to subscribe to it. The SWG feed can be read in your web browser, a so-called RSS reader can read it, or you can subscribe to it in LiveJournal. There are many options available. The benefit of RSS is that it gathers the information for you, and you don't have to log into the archive.

Subscribing to the SWG Archive RSS Feed

There are two ways to subsribe to RSS feeds, but we shall first explain to you how to get to the archive RSS feed.

When you are on the main page of the archive at the site, click on Most Recent:



It will take you to the screen pictured below. Once there, click on the orange button that says XML.



The site will now re-direct you to a page that looks a bit different. This page summarizes the latest additions to the archive:



If you activate the pull-down menu, it will prompt you with different options of how you can subscribe to this feed.

Syndication Software

You need a special piece of software in order to subscribe to these feeds. They are called either newsreaders, aggregators, or feed readers. This software works like a combination of an e-mail client and a web browser. You have an inbox, like an e-mail program, but instead of e-mail, you receive little web pages listing the content in very basic text. Anybody subscribed to and reading the SWG RSS feed won’t see the actual layout of the site. What the program does display is the title, author, rating and the summary.

There are dozens of programs out there that perform this service. Some cost money; some are free. Some you install on your computer; some you run in a web browser.

We have tried to sum up some popular feed readers, but the SWG has no preference for any of these. This list is intended only to show popular feed readers that can be used very easily.

Google Reader. This service is offered by Google and is available to anybody with a Gmail account. It is a web-based reader, requiring no software install, and is quick to set up.

Bloglines. Next to Google Reader, this is one of the most popular web-based feed readers. It is straightforward, has some nice features, and has a pretty quick signup process.

FeedDemon. This is a Windows-based program that must be installed on your computer rather than used via a website. You can download all proper versions for free.

SharpReader. Yet another free Windows-based program (although you can make donations to the developer Luke Hutteman). It looks like an e-mail program, which could be helpful to those who like it simple and easy.

NetNewsWire. This is a feed reader for Mac users, and, like SharpReader, it looks a lot like an e-mail client; it has a lot of features as well. You can download all proper versions for free.

NewsFire. This is another feed reader for the Mac. Unfortunately, it is not for free and costs $25.

LiveJournal

If you have a LiveJournal account and want to be notified of new stories posted to the archive, subscribing to this service is easy. Once logged in, visit our syndicated feed swg_archive. You will be prompted with this screen:



By either clicking on Add this feed to your friends list on the page or by clicking on Add it to your Friends Page in the navigation bar, you can subscribe to this feed. It will take you to this screen:



To add the feed, click on Add, as illustrated below. You also have the option here of adding the feed to one of your custom friends groups, if you wish to do so.



After doing that, it will bring you to this page:



If a new story is posted, it will appear on your friends list! Just to give you an idea of what it looks like:



Other SWG Newsfeeds

Once you have selected or installed your feed reader, it is possible to keep track of the community at LiveJournal by subscribing to the feed here.



Last updated 1 February 2008.

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