Did you know that you can be notified whenever something is posted to the LAS website?
Most computers and smartphones these days support something known as RSS Feeds. This is a special kind of webpage which your browser or ‘phone checks to see if a website has been updated.
The main site feeds, which you are likely to find of most use, are:
|New forum posts/replies
You can also create custom feeds by browsing to a Category, a Tag, or performing a search and appending certain values to the end of the URL. The rule of thumb is:
If the URL currently ends in a forward slash / then you add feed/ after it.
If the URL currently ends in anything else, then you add &feed=rss after it.
We will be adding icons to help make this easier, but for the moment here is how to do it ‘by hand’.
Here are a couple of examples to get you started.
RSS Feeds for specific Categories
To get an RSS feed showing only the articles posted in the LAS Specific News category, first you need to get the URL for that category.
There are two ways to do this:
- Browse to that category from the Article Categories box on the right of the homepage by clicking the small [+] symbols until you see the Category, then click on its name.
- Find an article which is already posted in that Category. At the bottom of every article there is a row of text, which will say something like:
This entry was posted in LAS Specific News, Stargazing Live and tagged BBC, Brian Cox, Dara O’Briain, Stargazing Live 2013 on ………
By clicking on LAS Specific News you will then by taken to the Category page.
Whichever method you use, you should end up with the URL:
As that URL ends in a forward slash, you add feed/ to the end of it like so:
Give this new URL to your RSS program / mobile device / web browser and most modern devices will ask if you want to ‘subscribe’ to it – this is nothing to do with money, it just means ‘Shall I check this link every now and then to see if it’s been updated?’
RSS Feeds for specific Tags
You can do the same for Tags by using just method 2. Note that while every article has at least one Category, not all articles have Tags.
For instance, if you want to see every article tagged ‘Galileo Galilei’, find an article with that tag, such as this article about a Science Afternoon at Edge Hill University and at the bottom of the article, above the Comments area, you will see:
This entry was posted in Open Days, Special Events, Young Astronomers Events and tagged Galileo Galilei on ………
It ends with a forward slash, so add feed/ to get:
RSS Feeds for custom searches
What if these aren’t specific enough for you? You can perform a search of the website and get an RSS Feed of those results too.
Let’s suppose that you want to be notified whenever an article mentioning the Martian moon Phobos is posted.
Use the search box up on the top right of the page and search for the word Phobos.
When the search has run, you will be taken to a page with the URL:
Note that this page does not end with a forward slash!
We add therefore &feed=rss after it to get: