"Managing your news and information"
NOTE: This topic is for "advanced users" who have an email address, already feel comfortable with browsing school webpages, have signed up for eBlasts, know what a webpage URL is, and know how to cut, copy, and paste.
Q: I like receiving emails about my child and viewing the school website. But now I have to visit so many different places to visit and it takes forever to do this. Is there something easier?
A: Yes! You can use RSS feeds to organize your news and information into one place.
Q: What is an RSS feed?
A: RSS is an acronym for “really simple syndication". The idea behind syndication is pretty straightforward. Checking a bunch of different websites for the latest news and information can be a hassle. You have to check back periodically and scroll down the page until you can figure out whats new and where you left off. RSS brings the information to you. Wikipedia has an excellent article on RSS Feeds for those who want to learn more.
Q: Do all websites have an RSS feed?
A: Unfortunately no. Websites that offer and RSS feed usually advertise this with a special logo on the side or at the bottom. Sample logos include:
or or or
The Crawford Cluster school websites contain multiple RSS feeds. There are separate feeds for school news and campus events, and more. Simply look for the logo on the bottom of the page.
RSS feeds have become popular. You can find RSS feeds on a variety of news-related websites including CNN, Google News, Los Angeles Times, and Yahoo News.
Q: Should I use RSS feeds?
A: If you only read a couple news sites every day, then you shouldn’t bother with RSS feeds. But if you find yourself refreshing a website obsessively — you know who you are — or find it hard to keep up with all of the different news outlets that you want to watch then you’re a candidate for RSS feeds.
Q: What does an RSS feed look like?
A: An RSS feed is not much different than a the regular webpage.
As you can see, the same information is displayed in a different format.
Q: So what's the big deal?
A: The advantage of RSS feeds is you can use a News Reader to combine multiple feeds from different websites onto ONE page. For example, you could create one webpage that contains school news from every school in the Crawford cluster! This could be VERY useful if you have more than one student in different cluster schools.
Q: What is a News Reader and where do I get one?
A: A News Reader (also known as a Feed Reader or RSS Reader) is an application that collects and manages feeds for you. News Readers will even tell you if a specific feed has been updated! There are a variety of News Readers available. Some are web-based and some require you to install software on your computer. Some are free. A couple of popular free web-based News Readers are below:
Q: How do I use a News Reader?
A: First you have to create an account. Each type of reader is a little different. Please follow the directions associated with the reader you have chosen.
We recommend Bloglines for people who are new to RSS feeds because it is pretty straight forward and free. To create an account on Bloglines simply:
- Go to Bloglines.com and click Signup Now!
- Enter your email and password. Select a couple of options and click Register.
- Bloglines will send you a confirmation email. Find the email, and click on the enclosed link to activate your account
Once you are setup, you need to add a few sites. Adding a new site is as easy as pasting the URL from the RSS feed. In Bloglines, for instance, you can add the Mann Middle School News RSS Feed by clicking on “Add,” in the upper left-hand corner. In the “Blog or Feed URL,” enter "work in progress". Then hit the “Subscribe” button at the bottom, and “News and Announcements (Mann Middle School)” will appear in the left-hand pane.
Q: The directions above seem simple but how am I supposed to find the URL for a RSS feed at my school?
A: Easy! Go to the website and look for the RSS logo. Click on the logo and the RSS feed page will be displayed. Simply copy the URL from the top of the page. To find the RSS logo on a Crawford Cluster school website, simply click on the "Show All" link found at the bottom the News and Announcements box on the front page of the website. The link will take you to a complete list of news articles for the school and the RSS logo should be at the bottom.
If you have time, explore the website to find other areas with the RSS feed button. The Events section of your school website is another example of a webpage that has an RSS feed!
Additional information about RSS Feeds: