Surprisingly many gamers either aren’t aware of RSS or don’t understand the value of RSS. In order to rectify this problem I decided to create a post that not only explains RSS but demonstrates its power. I feel that once gamers recognize its power they’ll be subscribing to all their favorite gaming sites.
What is RSS?
Lets begin with a definition of RSS:
RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
Before RSS, in order to keep track of updates on a website you had to use traditional bookmarks in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added. Thankfully that is now a thing of the past. RSS aims to eliminate the drawbacks of traditional bookmarking.
Drawbacks of bookmarking
- You waste time checking a site to see if anything has changed
- Managing a bunch of bookmarks can be annoying and confusing
- If you don’t check regularly you can miss out on time sensitive information
- As the user/reader you had to do all the work yourself
The beauty of RSS is that it brings the latest content you want, to exactly where you want or need it most. For example, if you want to keep up to date on whats happening at GamerLimit.com you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Once you have subscribed you’ll be automatically notified of anything that changes on the site. For another example think of your favorite game. Now I imagine if it’s a game your passionate about, your going to want to know the latest news and information about the game. A great way to stay informed about the game is to subscribe to an RSS feed that the game’s website publishes. This way instead of having to hunt down, or hear about it second hand, the information is delivered right where you can easily access it.
Stuff gamers want to know about ASAP
- Upcoming game patch
- New maps or other DLC
- Upcoming game expansions
- League/Ladder/Tournament Information
- etc…. This list could go on forever, the point there is plenty of information you want to stay up to date on as a gamer
Now I hope the above helps you understand the value of RSS. Instead of stopping there, lets take it a step further and put it into action so we can demonstrate its power. The best way to utilize an RSS feed is to get yourself a “RSS reader”. When it comes to RSS readers there are tons of options. So you’ll need to figure out which option is most convenient for you but for the sake of this post I will demonstrate one of the more popular options.
Gamers surf the web for all kinds of information. Whether your searching for news, reviews, videos, guides, etc, the search engine your likely using is Google. You may or may not know but Google now offer a customizable homepage. This is a very powerful feature if you use search engines often like many gamers do. Basically what it allows you to do is to tailor your homepage to exactly the way you want it. Once configured, every time you go to do a search on Google your taken to your custom homepage.
As you could probably guess this is a great place to have an RSS reader. That way every time you do a search on Google, you have right there at your finger tips, the latest information from your favorite sites. On your Google homepage you can add to it what is referred to as a “gadget”. One of the available gadgets is an RSS reader. So when you subscribe to a feed you can add it to a gadget on your Google homepage. That way the information you need is always at your finger tips.
Best RSS Client
If you prefer to use a program to monitor RSS feeds my personal recommendation is Newgator’s FeedDemon, which can be downloaded here.
How to Subscribe to an RSS Feed
Luckily it’s pretty simple, on a website you want to subscribe to look for an RSS icon, they are normally placed at the top or bottom of the page, see example below.
Once clicked on you’ll be taken to the RSS page, depending on your browser you’ll something like a ‘Subscribe now’ options box, be sure to select how you want to subscribe then you are done.
Recommended RSS Feeds
To get you started in the world of RSS here are my top picks for gaming RSS feeds.