This might be the last idiotic question you’ll see for the next twelve months, but I still find myself bookmarking weblogs so i can go back and read them again. I have an RSS reader configured, but don’t know how to subscribe to blogs. I use Firefox: is there a shortcut?
This is not an idiotic question at all. In fact, I’ll boldly venture to guess that at least 20% of the people who read this article aren’t sure of the fastest, easiest way to subscribe to a weblog or other site that has an RSS feed available while using the popular Firefox Web browser.
Allow me to enlighten you!
The beauty of Firefox and other modern Web browsers is that they do what we geeks call RSS autodiscovery, which means that when you go to a Web page that has an associated RSS feed, your browser automatically knows it.
I use Firefox, for example, and when I’m on a page that doesn’t have an RSS feed available, here’s what I see in the address bar:
Go to a site that has a discoverable RSS feed, however, and notice that there’s a new icon that shows up in the bar:
I’ll go to my friend Doyle Albee’s Media in the New Millennium weblog to show what happens when I click on the little RSS icon. First off, here’s the address bar for his weblog:
Click on the RSS icon (I’ve highlighted it here in red so we’re talking about the same thing) and here’s what you see:
Since I use Google Reader, I click on that button and that’s all there is to it, I’m now subscribed to the weblog in my favorite reader!
If your Firefox isn’t yet configured for your favorite RSS reader, you can adjust it by going to Preferences –> Applications and scrolling down to “Web Feed”. Mine looks like this:
What isn’t immediately obvious is that if you click on the right-side value you get a nifty pop-up of choices:
That’s where you can pick the reader you prefer and have it all hooked up properly. Now you’ve got a super-fast way to subscribe to RSS feeds as you travel the Web. Hope that’s helpful!