How can I subscribe to this blog via email or RSS (and what the HECK is “RSS”)?

OK…next, if you like want to make getting our news easier, then you should subscribe to updates. Subscribing to updates means that you will be sent whatever we post as soon as we post it. There are two main ways to do that here, RSS and email. I’m guessing you already understand email, so let’s do that first. If email is your preferred method to receive new posts from us, then all you have to do is enter your email address in the text field of this box, and you’ll get it delivered right to your inbox:

Enter your email address:

— Delivered by FeedBurner

OK, still with me? The other – and probably less familiar to many people – way to get our latest stuff is to subscribe to our RSS feed. What IS an “RSS feed?” RSS is an acronym which stands for “Really Simple Syndication” (clever, huh? 😉 ). It was developed as a way to keep track of sites such as news sites like CNN or blogs like this one, where the content changes frequently. Most websites, like ones which explain something, don’t change all that often, so you don’t need to re-visit them often. But news sites and blogs in particular are changing all the time, and before RSS, if you wanted to make sure you saw what was being posted before it disappeared into the archives, you had to remember to keep checking the page to see if there was anything new. What a hassle. So RSS was devised to allow a way that the rapidly-changing site could notify anyone who subscribed to RSS that new content had been posted.

All you need to use it is an RSS feed reader. Don’t panic, you won’t need to learn anything new. Though there are plenty of RSS readers out there for every taste under the sun, most modern browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox have RSS readers built right into them (or available as helper applications). That means, for you, all you have to remember is that anytime you’re on any website, and you see an icon that looks like this:

(go on, click it now…you know you want to 😉 )

you can remember that it’s an RSS icon, which means if you click on it (or the highlighted text next to it), you’ll be able to subscribe to that website’s content via RSS. Usually, these icons aren’t so large, and they’re usually orange. If you’re the curious type and you want to know more about RSS, you can go here for more than you ever wanted to know about RSS.

So, whether via email or RSS, “subscribing” means you’ll get updates as soon as we post ’em, piping hot and fresh from the ovens of Chez Olsson. Now, you can get all the poop (er, metaphorically speaking, I hope) no matter which way you prefer to receive it. And all WE have to do is make sure that what we post is interesting enough to be worthy of such high-falutin’ technological wizardry.