Keeping in touch via RSS Feeds
RSS ('Really Simple Syndication') is the modern alternative to email for keeping in touch. This web site provides many RSS feeds to tell you of changes made on the web site. The web site itself uses feeds to get information from external sites (the BBC Forecast, for example). Where a feed is available, you will see a small orange symbol with a 'loudspeaker' style logo on it, as displayed just above. Rather than go to long explanations of RSS feeds, go to this web site for advice on free RSS readers, and here for another selection. If you want to integrate RSS into Outlook Express, then go here for info. Other email clients also offer RSS as an option.
RSS Feeds for forums and other web site content
The best thing to do with this web site is to use it directly to access the forums, events and news. No subscriptions required, visible threading, and all the other news that we hope you will enjoy. You can catch up with latest news using the 'recent posts' menu, and not miss anything of interest.
There is an email list that copies the contents of the 'General conversation' forum. It should be noted, however, that the email list will not contain anything said in the other forums or the events, or the flight diaries.
If you want to know what is happening without visiting the web site itself, the best way is to use the RSS Feeds that are provided. RSS ('Really Simple Syndication') is a method of notifying you of changed content. While there are several RSS feeds automatically provided within the web site, we suggest that you use the special one provided, which lets you know about everything that happens on the web site.
You can read these feeds in any decent internet browser, a dedicated RSS feed aggregator or most email clients.
When imported into an email client, they look just like regular emails.
Outlook Express needs an add-on to do it; most other email clients have RSS capabilities built in to them.
Why use RSS?
It bypasses lots of problems with email:
- No subscription required. So no unsubscribing during your holidays/resubscribing when you get back.
- It doesn't matter if you forget your password, or your email changes.
- No email exposed = no spam received.
- No endless repeats of old emails because someone can't be bothered to snip the old stuff out before (s)he adds a one-liner.
- No AOL/Yahoo spam black holes. No endless support requests. No email bounces from people who are 'out of the office'.
- If you come back after a long time away, you don't find an overloaded in-box; you get the last few messages, but you don't miss everything.
- You can use RSS for all sorts of neat non-flying stuff, like keeping track of items of interest via BBC news, Google, or Ebay, or whatever.
Setting up the Feeds:
- Go to here, and download RSSPopper.exe.
- Run it to install it into Outlook Express. You may also have to download and install .Net 1.1 to run it if you don't already have it installed.
- Load Outlook Express. This will download a whole load of RSS feeds that are pre-set up. You may remove these later.
- You will see a folder called 'RSS', containing the preset RSS Feeds.
- You will also see a menu at the top of the page, containing 'Edit Feeds' and 'Settings', amongst other things.
- The 'Settings' menu item lets you set the interval time to go fetch the latest news items. This is initially set to 900 (15 minutes). Don't make this smaller- it just loads the web site unnecessarily.
- Go to 'edit feeds'
- Get rid of the stuff put there with delete button against each feed, (unless you want the pre-supplied feeds, that is).
- Hit the 'new>>' button, and select 'RSS/Atom' feed.
- In the 'link' field, put 'http://shgc.org.uk/rss'.
- Hit the 'get title from feed' button. The title field should get filled with 'Southern HG Club' or similar. If it doesn't, you have entered the feed address incorrectly.
- Once the title has been fetched, you can change it to whatever takes yer fancy, and hit OK.
- Repeat the process for each feed that you want.
- Go to 'edit/preferences
- Select 'News and Blogs'
- Hit the 'add' button
- Fill in the URL(s) as above. The new feed will appear under a new 'News and Blogs' folder.
- Repeat for all feeds required.
- Go to tools/account settings (or edit/account settings)
- Select 'Add Account'
- Select 'RSS news and blogs' ,and hit the 'Next' button
- Alter the account name on the next screen, if you want to, and hit 'Next'
- Hit 'Finish' to add the RSS feed account, which you will now see in the list.
- Hit the 'manage subscriptions' button
- Hit the 'add' button.
- Fill in the URL 'http://shgc.org.uk/rss'. The feed will be added to the 'news and blogs' folder, and the 30 most recent items fetched and displayed.
RSS Feeders that Send You Emails
If you went here to look at the readers available, you will see some that deliver RSS feeds to your email. I haven't tried them, but this method may suit you better.
Instructions for any Browser
- Click on the orange RSS icon at the top of the page (Internet Explorer) or at the right-hand side of the URL field (Firefox/Opera/Any decent browser).
- Follow the instructions. (usually just click OK to add the feed to your browser). Then you can select the feed without actually going to the SHGC web site.
Windows Vista/Windows 7 RSS feed readers
Vista and Windows 7 users who want the news delivered direct to their desktop can use gadgets available for the Vista side-bar. Most of them use the Internet Explorer 'Common Feeds'. This means that the easiest way to set them up is to run Internet Explorer, and click on the RSS icon at the top of the page. IE then asks you if you want to subscribe to this feed (it also displays the last 30 items). Click yes, and save in 'common feeds'. After this, you can use several 'gadgets' to read RSS, independent of running IE. Most of them use the IE common feed by default - some ask if you want the IE feeds loaded.
NB. You may want to remove the Microsoft feeds installed by default, or you may be overwhelmed by hundreds of messages.
There is one gadget called 'unread feed' which only shows you stuff that you haven't read, and can beep if someone posts something. The others seem to display the entire feed, regardless of whether you have read it or not. On all of these gadgets, you can read the whole post without going to the web site at all, conveniently on your desk top. You only need to go to the website if you want to reply to the message.