This site now has an RSS feed, located here. If you click on the link, you’ll see that it comes up as badly formatted text. That’s because it’s designed to be used by something other than a standard web browser. Depending on your level of jadedness, RSS is either a brilliant new solution for content management or a hacky kludge using outdated technology. Either way, here’s what it does.
Every time a new item is added to the front page of johnaugust.com, a tiny file called index.xml is updated with a headline and summary of the information. This file is called a “feed.” Other sites and programs (called aggregators) can read and process this feed, allowing a user to keep track of dozens or hundreds of sites without having to visit each one every day. Since the user only needs to click through to the stories that interest him, it saves a lot of wasted time and bandwidth.
I use NetNewsWire for Mac OS X, but there are dozens of programs for every kind of computer. If you use MyYahoo, you can even add feeds to your home page. For more information about using RSS, including programs, look here.