Facebook, Youtube, Soundcloud, with these three sites you can keep your finger on the creative content of the Internet, and you can easily subscribe to any pages/channels/accounts that you want. However, it gets a little harder when you want to follow a special playlist, spend less time on Facebook or simply not have to check your favourite blog everyday.
You might want a fluid, central place to check updates on multiple platforms, and RSS feeds are exactly designed to solve this problem: an RSS feed is a .xml file frequently updated, that you can read and subscribe to with a RSS reader. I personally use NewsFox, and I will explain you how I deal daily with 100 different feeds to actively follow music, local news and creative blogs (you can directly go at the end of the article to find a complete guide of how to get a feed for Soundcloud, Tumblr, Facebook…).
First step: Download NewsFox
It’s pretty easy: NewsFox is an add-on for Firefox that you can download here. After you restarted your browser, you should find this icon at the right of the address bar: .
Second step: Add feeds
In most of the cases, it’s rather straightforward: you are looking for something like this:
After you clicked on this, you arrive on a page either like this one, or this one. In the first case, you just select NewsFox in the drop-down menu (and tick the box skip this step next time) and you are directed to the reader. In the second case, you have to click on “View Feed XML” to access on the page mentioned before.
Third step: Organize it
At the beginning, you should be fine without any organisation, but after 20 feeds you will need to use folders: as you can see, mine are classic, but it’s good to know what kind of new stuff you have. Find categories that also help you evaluate how much time you need to read your feeds. Once you have your folders, you can put feeds in it either when you first subscribe to it or later with right-click > “Feed Options”.
In the same menu you can decide if you want your articles to be fully displayed or as a summary (very useful for Youtube or TED for example).
And that’s all: this should be enough for you to look at your favourite pages to find the feed. Nevertheless, a lot of websites don’t provide a RSS feed: you will have to look further, and this is what the second part of this blog is about.
You will find 3 kinds of pages without obvious RSS link:
The hidden feed:
A few websites don’t display the RSS logo, making it slightly harder: Flickr, Bandcamp have only a small icon, all the way down, and for the other a quick research Ctrl+F “feed” or “rss” should be enough. For this category and the following, you can also add the “subscribe” button in the Navigation toolbar by right-click on it > ‘Customize…’
The easy catches
Now that I’ve been using Newsfox since almost 6 months, I formed a habit when looking for a feed: simply add /rss , /.rss or /feed at the end of the page’s adress. It works with Reddit with /.rss (e.g. here is Shittywatercolor feed), Tumblr and WordPress with /rss.
The hard ones
Here are the less funny, the ones you have to fight for. Thankfully I met a lot, so you should be fine:
- Youtube: you can follow
- a channel : gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/’name of your channel/uploads?alt=rss
- a playlist : gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/playlists/’Id of your channel’ (code after “list=”)
- a research : gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/videos?alt=rss&q=’your research’
- Blogpost : simply add /feeds/posts/default?alt=rss after the address
- Soundcloud : I’m using picklemonkey.net to create Soundcloud feeds
- Facebook: this one is tricky. The most interesting is to follow a page, and for this you need to get the page’s id: replace the www at the beginning of the adress by ‘graph’, and you will have something like this. You take the number id and create your feed from here : facebook.com/feeds/page.php?id=’id of your page’&format=rss20
When you start using it, you will save time, your Facebook feed will be uncluttered and you will not be annoyed by publicity anymore, absent on Newsfox !