Whew, now that's out of the way, here goes:
When I first downloaded FireFox, I never thought I would come to love it for the RSS feeds. I initially switched because my i-geek friend kept telling me how much better, faster and safer it was compared to IE (Internet Explorer), and I am always up for learning something new when it comes to the computer;-) Admittedly, it took a while (I am no longer 18 folks) for me to like it, as the 'tabs' are very different (I kept 'x' ing out all the time) and took some getting used to, but the RSS feeds kept me here.
Why use RSS feeds?
Because I read a lot of content (blogs, news etc) and the feeds allow me to quickly check websites for NEW content, without having to click through to them. For example, I am sitting here writing this, wondering how to pare it down a bit, and I decide to see if Theo has really gone to bed.. So, I click on my little Theo Spark button on the top of the window and up pops his headlines. I can see his last post - Bedtime Totty - and, since I saw that earlier, I can deduce he has indeed gone to bed at 7pm and nothing new is available. All of this can be done in a nanosecond, without disturbing what I'm currently doing (or adding to his already grossly inflated ego regarding his stats;-). The same goes for any of my favorite sites - I mean, if I had click through to Pioneer Woman every day, you're talking like
Now, the only blogger I regularly read that is not part of the wonderful world of RSS, is Hitch. I don't know why, but his blog just-will-not-load on RSS! I have theory its partly due to his famed and world-renowned (no Hitch, not that) 'flounces'. Maybe Blogger is waiting to see how long this return lasts before they put him on RSS? I doubt it, but bugger me if its not annoying;-(
Anyway, here is a current screen shot of my computer..
Ooh, bad pix! But, can you see those little orange boxes at the top? Those are my RSS feeds.. and they go all down the side too.
Here check this one out... Here you can see I am on Hercules, but I am also looking for his other headlines (RSS only loads one page at a time). If I wanted to, I could move from him to Tuscan or The Telegraph.. or any other feeds I have running on my system, in just one click. And, if there is nothing new, I don't have to click at all. It's a real time saver, and I just LOVE it
One word of warning to all you blogger's out there - if you don't put a Headline/Title, RSS won't read that post.
How To Start?
First, you need to download Firefox (Google it if outside of the US).
Once downloaded you can start using it as your primary search engine, and anytime you run across a blog you like, you can either click on Bookmark this page (which will act like favorites) or Subscribe to this page, which is RSS, and will create those little orange boxes in your toolbar.
(I just found an expert to explain further if you're interested).
The tabs.. you get used to them.. I like them more than windows now. Also, I still keep IE around - my credit card virtual number pop-up thingy doesn't work with FireFox - so its good to have both, but other than that, I am thoroughly happy with my browsing experience.
P.P.S. There is another program called a Reader (Google has one) which is super fast and convenient if you read a LOT - oh, say 25+ blogs/sites. I have it, but I don't like it as much as it forces me to click on the post to read the comments (and on the blogs I read, the comments are usually the funniest part).
The thing about Readers is they save everything.. that means, if a blog gets closed, or a post gets posted then unpublished, Reader keeps a copy. I am not so comfortable with that notion, but its good to know..
If anyone has been wondering about RSS, I hope this helps.. and remember.. I am not liable!