(This is an updated version of a post I initially composed on July 22, 2014.)
I've recently gotten a few questions from people asking very specifically how they can get emails with updated posts from the Brookside Institute blog, without having to remember to check in periodically on their own. They want to stay in the loop, but they won't always remember to go looking for new content. And when they do remember, they may not be near a computer or it may not be a convenient time.
I love this question. I love it that people want to stay in the loop, and that we're providing valuable enough content that people want to stay engaged.
Here's how I respond to this question:
There's no way that I know of to get emails specifically from the Brookside Institute, providing updated content as new posts are published. (If I'm missing something on this, someone please let me know!) However that doesn't mean there's no way to conveniently stay in the loop. The solution is to subscribe to something called a "feed reader" that will collect the content (the "RSS Feed") you want from sites you subscribe to. Then, you simply monitor your feed reader and can conveniently stay up to date on the content you've chosen to subscribe to.
Below I've included some detailed steps on how to subscribe to an RSS Feed and have it collected into a feed reader. Before I get into that, though, let me briefly share WHAT an RSS Feed is and WHY subscribing to the RSS Feed can be helpful.
WHAT IS AN RSS FEED? AND WHY IS IT WORTH CONSIDERING?
Here's what wikipedia has to say:
RSS feeds...benefit users who want to receive timely updates from favourite websites or to aggregate data from many sites. Subscribing to a website RSS removes the need for the user to manually check the web site for new content. Instead, their browser constantly monitors the site and informs the user of any updates. The browser can also be commanded to automatically download the new data for the user.
In other words, RSS feeds collect the content you want to receive from any site you subscribe to, and then can let you know when new material gets published.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO AN RSS FEED?
1. Identify and Register with a Feed Reader.
There are a number of feed readers available. Some of them are free - or at least include a free option. I'll be using feedly.com as the demo for this walk-through. Below you'll see what the home page looks like, at the time this post was written. Click on the "Get Started for Free" button prominently displayed.
2. Register or SIGN IN USING THE ACCOUNT OF YOUR CHOICE.
Follow the prompts as directed.
3. With Your Account Created, You Should Be Directed to a Page with a Left Sidebar including a "Discover and Follow" Button. Click on that button and You Should See Something Like this:
4. Toward THE CENTER OF THis Page, IN THE "Discover and Follow Your Favorite Sources" FIELD WHERE YOU CAN TYPE, ENTER IN THE URL FOR THE RSS FEED OF THE BROOKSIDE INSTITUTE BLOG.
Here's the feed URL to type (or copy and paste) into that search field:
BE SURE AND NOTE THAT THE FEED'S URL IS NOT THE SAME AS THE DOMAIN NAME, www.thebrooksideinstitute.net. Instead, the feed's URL is what pulls up when you click the "RSS Feed" link, on the right sidebar of the blog page.
5. This Will Bring Up a Page Like the One Below. Click on the Green + (Plus Symbol) Button in the Brookside Institute Box, and You'll be Taken to a Site that Collects All the Blog Updates from the Brookside Institute.
After clicking this "plus symbol" box, you should be taken to a page where you see some of the recent posts at the Brookside Institute. (For a visual, see below, under Step #6.)
6. Click on the "+Feedly" button Near the Top of the Page.
You'll click on the green "+ feedly" button and then you'll be directed through a few prompts in the sidebar to title this source and "create" it for your account. Follow these steps (culminating in "create") and then click back on the main part of the page, and you should be good-to-go!
***BONUS: Be Sure and Notice that Feedly (and I'm Guessing Most Other Feed Readers) Have Apps Available as Well. This Way, You Can Stay Plugged in from Mobile Devices While You're on the Go!
Did you hit any bumps working through these steps that I can help you troubleshoot? Any additional tips you may want to add as we talk "RSS Feed"? If so, please comment here - I'm here to help, and to learn!
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.