Want the quickest way to stay on top of all of Dodge College's news, press releases, and blogs, all in one place?  We've got you covered.

Check out our "Dodge College News" RSS feed.  (Can also be found in the upper-right corner of our websites)

What's an RSS Feed??

Nowadays, a majority of Americans are no longer consuming news on the once-monopolistic Television set, and have shifted to websites and weblogs as their main source of information.  The forces driving this trend, mainly the easy digitization of content, the diverse business models and monetization strategies of the web 2.0 ago, the accessibility of user-generated content and the proliferation of social media connections, have ensured that the information found in these venues is always-on, extremely personally (or locally) relevant, and instant.

But, if, like me, you find yourself trying to monitor a few dozen different news sources each day (and believe me, when you graduate, you'll be doing this too) it becomes an extremely long and complicated process.  Simply visiting a site like the NYT can sometimes take a minute or more just to lead up all the various ads and images.  Some of us just don't have that kind of time to spare (or at least, we enjoy feeling that way).

Enter RSS, or "really simple syndication," a widely-adopted format for standardizing the way information is produced.  Essentially, what RSS allows you to do is 'collect' information from one (or, many) different sites and have it delivered directly to you, cutting out a majority of advertising middlemen and wasted time in the process.  Instead of viewing a site's blog posts on their website, with all their fancy formatting and multimedia advertising, you can have all the content (that is, the text, images, links and more that comprise the valuable parts of an article or website) shipped straight to an 'inbox' of your choosing.

The 'inbox' in this case, is an RSS reader, a program (or web application) that you set up with your own personal configurations, to display information in the way that's most useful to you.  By far, the most popular, free RSS reader is the Google Reader.  if you have a Gmail account, or use any other Google product such as Google Docs, you already have access to Google Reader!

If you don't have an RSS reader of your own yet, follow these extremely simple steps to set up your first one, and to add the Dodge College News feed to it:

1. Head over to the Google Accounts login

2. Login to your account, or sign up for a free one if you haven't yet

3. Click on "Reader" (either in the Products section, or in the upper left corner of your Gmail account)

4. Click the "Add a Subscription" button

5. Enter "http://ftv.chapman.edu/rss/news" into the text box (without the quotation marks)

6. "Dodge College News" should appear in the list below

Note that you can use this same procedure to add the RSS feed from any website to your personalized reader!  Each feed will populate with a number in parenthesis next to it; this is the 'unread item count' which indicates that new messages have been posted to the feed, ready for your reading pleasure.

Then, whenever the website you're following (including us) publishes new material, it gets ported directly into your reader, where you can click to read the whole article, mouseover to get a short summary, or scroll down to simply skip. 

Information at your fingertips!  What could be better?

Here's a peek at my own personal reader, woefully untended (as evidenced by my absurdly high unread count items). 

I also highly recommend the paid RSS reader Fever, if, like me, you often want to get the biggest news items, without having the time to comb through each individual post from each website you're interested in.  It's kind of like a personal RSS feed curator.


What are your favorite uses of RSS?  Any must-subscribe blogs you'd like to share with other students?