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Click On: Web workshop part 3: Adding feeds

Updated Tuesday 6th December 2011

Follow the instructions for adding feeds to your personal portal

There are a number of ways of adding modules to your Netvibes page. One of the simplest ways is to find the feed for yourself. Let's imagine, for a moment, that you're a big fan of the BBC News and wanted to add this to your Netvibes page. The first thing you'll need to do is find out the address of the blog's feed.

Most websites that offer constantly updating content now publish their feed addresses - what you're looking for is a small orange button with what looks like a quarter of an old vinyl record on it (see the image below). On BBC News you'll find a button marked rss in the banner at the top of the page:

The RSS feed on the BBC News site Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

Click on the button and you'll open a page which shows you the information the feed is publishing.

A feed from a blog Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team  

Copy the address in the browser bar. In this case it’s: http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/rss.xml

Return to Netvibes, look at the sidebar on the left of the page (if this isn't visible, click 'add content' and it'll appear).

contents sidebar Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Netvibes

Simply click on the 'Add a feed' link (next to another one of those quarter-records) and paste the feed address in the box. When you press 'add', Netvibes will just check you've got an address of an actual feed, and once it's happy, the Science Technology and Nature blog's latest postings will appear on your new tab, in a module of their own.

You can also drop in feeds that have been selected by Netvibes and other users - further down that left-hand column on the Netbvibes page, you'll see a link to ‘feeds’. (We'll look at the other 'widgets' in a little while, by the way.) Click on this, and you'll be offered a range of ways to expand your range of feeds.

expanded feed widget Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Netvibes

‘My Feeds’ will gather the feeds you've already added to your Netvibes - handy if you wanted to have the same blog on a variety of tabs, for example, or if you'd inadvertently deleted a feed you meant to keep.

‘Featured feeds’ suggests some of the more popular content being added by other Netvibes users at the moment.

The ‘Feed Directory’ will let you browse through the thousands of feeds already being accessed by Netvibes users.

Or, if you'd like the heavy lifting to be done for you, you can choose to click on the ‘Content wizard’ - tell it what you're interested in, it'll provide you with a list of suggested websites that deal in that field, check the boxes of those that appeal, and Netvibes will pull them all together for you on a brand new tab.

A more exciting way to gather content for your pages is to explore the Netvibes universe - if you click on the ‘Universes’ tab just above feeds link, and follow the link to 'browse the directory'. This will take you to the Universes page, where you can browse through what are, effectively, commercially-built Netvibes pages (soon, ordinary users will be able to construct universes, too). So, for example, you can look at a page created by Time Magazine, or the Skeechers plimsoll company. OpenLearn have recently created a universe, letting you browse Open University course material for free.

If you see something on these pages which you like the look of, click on the top of the module, and you'll be invited to add it to your own page as well.  

add to my page button Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Netvibes

Clearly, these corporations are providing their modules in the hope of buying your undying customer loyalty and maybe a little bit of the good of their heart. For Netvibes, their presence is perhaps an answer to the standard question of the web developer: “how on earth do we make any cash out of this?”  

Next: audio, video and photos

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

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