Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Simple Things

One of the major problems I have always had in dealing with life is that things that should be simple so seldom are. Recently, someone suggested I put up an Author's Page on Amazon, and that I be sure to have an RSS feed. I'd heard of RSS feeds, though I still have only the muzziest of ideas of what they actually are. From my limited understanding, I gathered that with an RSS feed, anything I post on the net will appear not only where I post it, but on every site which is somehow...I of course haven't a clue as to how...linked to RSS.

Endlessly greedy to reach out to prospective readers, I hied myself to Amazon to find that I already had the skeleton of an Author's page, though no RSS feed. But in the directions, I noted the following:

Add a blog you already write using an RSS feed.

Perfect! With the boyish enthusiasm I apply to all new challenges (for the first 20 seconds, at any rate), I clicked on the underlining, and got this:

Author Central supports all versions of RSS and Atom blog feeds. Posts created before you add this feed will not be imported. If you want previous posts to appear on the Author Page, please re-post them on your home blog.

Excuse me? "Atom blog feeds"? What's an "Atom blog feed"? All I want is to click on something that says "Add RSS Feed" and get on with my life. What's so hard about that? Well, despite my 20 seconds of enthusiasm having long past, I uncharacteristically persevered and found:

Example RSS feed URLs:

Specify an RSS feed for your blog

What? There are three "example RSS feed URLs." Am I to pick from one of them? I click on each one. Nothing. How can I specify an RSS feed for my blog if I don't have the foggiest idea of what to specify?

But finally, after stumbling and bumbling along for what seemed like five minutes short of eternity, I found...and would never be able to find again...directions which I followed and which, to my utter surprise, it accepted. I was giddy with the sense of accomplishment! Bring on the world!

So now I'm on an RSS feed! I think. I won't know until I post this blog. Which raises yet another question: I currently have it set up (don't ask me how I did it, I couldn't remember if I tried) that anything posted to my main blog site ( opposed to my main website ( which it also appears thanks to the efforts of my tireless webmaster...also shows up on Facebook. Does this mean it's now going to show up twice? Still with me? All those parenthetical phrases and ellipses confuse you? Now you have an idea of how I feel.

Anyway, time will tell.

Now, what's this about an Atom RSS? Do I need it? How can I get one? How is it different from a regular RSS? And what's an "xml" and an "rdf"?

I think I'll just quit while I'm ahead.

Blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I hope you'll drop by.

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