What are site feeds? Let me attempt to explain.

In the dark ages of the Internet, to see if your favorite web page had new content, you had to type in the web page address (or click on its bookmark) and go look through the actual site. This is time consuming to click on every single website in your bookmarks list plus scanning each site to see if anything has changed.

Now in the “Web 2.0” era we have site feeds. Site feeds allow you to see what has been updated on your favorite web sites without actually have to visit them. Site feeds are also known as web feeds, feeds, syndicated web content, RSS (really simple syndication), and Atom (a competing syndication brand). Instead of being written in html code language, they are written in XML. The feeds usually have some sort of orange icon to represent that they are available on a web site. Instead of clicking through to all the web sites you like, you can read the updated content in a feed aggregator.

There are web-based aggregators and there are programs you install on your computer (client software). Client aggregators are also available in most e-mail programs and web browsers. To subscribe to VisionHealth EyeCare’s site feed, you simply right click on the feed icon (Subscribe to site feed), select “copy link location” or “copy shortcut.” Then pull up your aggregator, select the add new feed option, then paste. The link for our site feed appears, and congratulations, you will be updated on new eye care news and products throughout the year instead of just once a year at your appointment.

I prefer to use the web-based aggregators like Google Reader because I often use multiple computers in different locations, so I wouldn’t have access to my feed aggregator if it was a program on my home computer.

Site feeds aren’t just for blogs. They’re useful in web forums, news services, wikis, e-commerce, and more. At VisionHealth EyeCare, we are proud to offer site feeds as another way to interact with our community. This is about communication. We offer you the ability to stay up to date on the latest trends in eyewear and contact lenses, new discoveries in eye healthcare, and information about our office. This valuable service can be yours through subscribing to our site feed.

Podcasting is our Internet radio show that will be coming soon. Right click on the podcast icons (Subscribe to VHEC Podcasts or Subscribe to VHEC Podcasts), select “copy shortcut” and paste the link location into your podcatcher. iTunes users may simply click the iTunes icon.

If I left some questions unanswered, please consult these references:
Google’s Feedburner
Wikipedia on RSS, Atom, and Podcasting

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