Subscribing to the STEM Blog and RAC CEMS RSS Feeds

October 27, 2008

This is my third week working as a Graduate Student in the Rochester Area Colleges Center for Math and Science (RAC CEMS). One of the challenges I was faced with during my interview three weeks ago was to bring more visitors to the STEM Blog. Well, I’ve been reading a little about it and found that one way of getting more visitors is having them subscribe to the Blog’s RSS Feed. Therefore, in the past two weeks I’ve been trying to learn more about RSS feeds.

I have a friend who’s always up to date in the latest technology news and gadgets, and other types of news. This is because he’s subscribed to the RSS feeds that interest him. I’ve seen him use them before but I didn’t fully understand how they work or how they could be useful to me until now.

When you subscribe to an RSS feed, using an RSS Reader, you will get updates of the events, news, blogs, etc. posted on the website you subscribed to. So, I finally found the use of subscribing to an RSS Feed: keeping up to date with the latest Science, Technology, Engineering and Math news to bring them to you.

One way to know that a web page has an RSS Feed is by opening it in IE7 or Mozilla Firefox and looking for the RSS Feed Symbol at the end of the url (internet address) box.

With the help of my friend and co-workers, we discovered that the RAC-CEMS has three RSS Feeds:

The STEM Blog Feed:

RAC-CEMS Events Feed:

RAC-CEMS News Feed:

Now, you can keep up to date with the RAC-CEMS’ events, news and blogs by subscribing to our RSS Feeds.

But then, the problem was: how do we subscribe to them?

I have a Yahoo! email account and I knew that I could subscribe to RSS Feeds there because my friend had subscribed me to some before. I subscribed to our three feeds and several STEM related feeds by clicking in the Add link next to All Feeds entering each of the urls above and following the instructions. Done!

When I got to work the next day, I saw that our RSS Feeds were in the Firefox Bookmark Toolbar and one of my co-workers and I were perplexed. How did that get there? I tried to help her subscribe to our RSS Feeds by clicking on the RSS Symbol and she only got the Google reader as an option to subscribe whereas I was getting other options. We troubleshooted and found that the Firefox in her computer was set to subscribe to feeds using the Google Reader only. To change it, we went to Tools -> Options -> Feeds and clicked “Show me a preview and ask me which reader to use” then clicked OK. She tried again and was able to subscribe to the STEM Blog RSS feed by going to the blog, clicking on the RSS Symbol in the url, choosing “Live Bookmarks” from the drop down menu next to “Subscribe to this feed using” and clicking subscribe now, make sure “Create in” has “Bookmarks Toolbar Folder” chosen, click OK. Done!

Internet Explorer 7 has a similar way of adding feeds to the Feeds “tab” next to the Favorites. Just click on the RSS Symbol in the web page you’re interested in and follow the instructions.

These are just three of the free RSS Feed readers that are available. For a more clear understanding about RSS Feeds, how to subscribe to them, and how they can be useful to you, watch the following short video clip, that we found very useful, titled RSS in Plain English.


Soon, I will post permanent instructions on the website of how to subscribe to our feeds.

I hope this post inspires you to subscribe to our three RSS Feeds and to visit us often.

If you have suggestions on how we can attract more traffic to this blog, please feel free to leave us a comment below. We look forward to your comments after each blog post!