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The History Files

Help with RSS (and Facebook)

What is an RSS feed?

A feed, also known as RSS feed, XML feed, syndicated content, or web feed, is focussed, frequently-updated content which is published by a web site such as the History Files. Although RSS feeds have been deprecated of late, they can still be used, and are still popular with many.

It is usually used for news and blog websites, but can also be used for distributing other types of digital content, including pictures, audio or video. In the case of the History Files, it contains information on all major updates and newly-published material on the site.

Feeds can also be used to deliver audio content (usually in MP3 format) which you can listen to on your computer or MP3 player. This is referred to as podcasting.

Does a website offers feeds?

When you first view a website, your browser will search for feeds. If feeds are available, the Feeds button will change colour in Internet Explorer, or it will appear in the url address bar in Firefox. Many sites use this orange icon, but some use a picture with 'XML' on it, while a few others use an orange or blue icon, or simply a text link.

A sound might also play in Internet Explorer.

Some browsers automatically check for feeds when you visit a website. These browsers include Firefox, Opera and Safari. They will display an icon when they find a feed. This can make the process of subscribing to feeds more easy. For more details, please check the relevant websites.

The History Files has its own feed. You can find the link for accessing this in the url bar of every relevant page, as described above. You can also find it on any of the index or help pages. It is an orange button on the righthand side of all index pages .

Features Indices Churches Indices Churches Indices Railway Walks Indices King Lists Indices Rss Feeds

RSS icon on The History Files index page
Where to find the RSS Feeds button on the History Files index pages

How does a feed differ from a website?

A feed can have the same content as a web page, but it is often formatted differently.

When you subscribe, your browser will automatically check the website and download new content so that you can see what is new since you last visited the feed.

How to get automatically updated content

You can receive content automatically by subscribing to a web feed, or rss feed.

When you subscribe to a web feed, you set the interval at which your browser will check the website for updates. Once you have set an interval, your browser will automatically download the most up-to-date web feed list.

How to view the History Files feed

Feeds can be viewed in a news reader. This is a piece of software which checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have recently been added. Some news readers are accessed using your web browser, while others are downloadable applications (these are not covered here).

Browser-based news readers usually come as part of your internet browser, and allow you to read your selected RSS feeds from any computer.

The History Files offers a single feed which shows all the latest new and updated content.

Visit one of the index pages on the History Files website via the links on the righthand side of this page. Once the Feeds button becomes available or visible in your browser, you will know that feeds are available.

RSS icon in Internet Explorer
View of the Feeds button in Internet Explorer

RSS icon in Firefox
View of the Feeds button in some versions of Firefox

Click the Feeds button, and then select the feed you want to see. Once you have done this, a list of the latest content will be shown, with links to the relevant pages on the History Files website.

To get content automatically, you should subscribe to a feed via the link at the top of the Feeds page.

Following that, you will be regularly updated with the latest content from the History Files.

Facebook, Twitter & Google+

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ sometimes offer the opportunity to import notes into your profile from websites via an RSS Feed. This will occur automatically whenever new material is available to be noted. To set this up, follow whatever instructions are available in the social networking site of your choice.

More recently, a link has been added to the History Files toolbar at the bottom of every page in the site. This 'Find us on Facebook' link will take you directly to the site's own page on Facebook, where you will be able to discuss topics, add your own photos, or simply leave a message.

The History Files' Facebook page will be updated with all changes to the History Files website, as will our similarly dedicated pages on Twitter and Google+, so join us there.

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