The following tip will provide you with a way to check on what is happening on the forum, without logging in.
If you’re technophobic and underconfident about anything technical and debating endlessly whether you should brave RSS feeds, just do this:
Find the buttons near the top of the screen or topic or group that say one of these things:
- Group RSS
- Forum RSS
- Topic RSS
Each one provides one of these feeds that let you see the forum postings while off-site.
Just click one and see what happens for you. It may just work for you.
If you get confused, read the rest of this article.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a standardized way for websites to publish a news feed continuously, in a way that many software programs can read and display.
An RSS feed is a link that a website provides to all visitors. This link can be used by software at the visitor’s end to read and display a list of most recent news items.
RSS feeds serve the same purpose as Notifications (the “world” icon) in Facebook. (In fact, Facebook provides RSS feeds.)
How We Can Use RSS with Café Writer to See Board Activity
Café Writer provides RSS feeds at the forum group and the individual thread levels. When someone posts a new comment or a new thread, a news items will be placed in the RSS feed. Anyone who subscribes to that RSS feed will see that news.
Your web browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, etc.) probably displays RSS feeds directly. Google Chrome requires a plugin (available in Chrome’s options) to display RSS feeds.
When you subscribe to an RSS feed, the browser will display the feed somehow:
- Internet Explorer has a feed “sidebar window” that lists all feed subscriptions.
- Firefox treats each feed exactly like a special type of bookmark that acts like a folder. When you click an RSS feed bookmark in Firefox, the browser drops down a list of individual feed items when you click it.
- There are also stand-alone feed reader programs available that are (Windows or Mac) desktop widgets.
In either browser, the list of RSS news items represents forum activity. When you click on one of the feed items, you’ll be sent to that thread or topic.
How to Use RSS
To use the RSS feature:
- Find any button in the upper right corner of threads, groups or topics that has the word “RSS” in it.
- And just click it.
Here’s where you would click for a group RSS feed, to display updates from any forums within the group for “Cafe Member Forums.”
Here is how you’d subscribe to the feed for a single discussion topic (thread.)
In Firefox, after you click a feed button you’ll see this prompt:
You can place the feed bookmark on any menu you like.
In Internet Explorer you see this screen after you click the feed button, and you simply click on the link that says “Subscribe to this feed.”
The Benefit of Using RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can make the Cafe Writer forum more accessible for you when you’re busy. Instead of logging in to the website to check your forums, just check the RSS feed you bookmarked or saved.