Center for Health & Medical Affairs
How to Subscribe to Blogs
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If you already know about feeds and blogs you can choose one of these three options to subscribe to the High Performance Health Care Blog. If you need more information click here to learn more.
Option 2. Be notified via email of new posts. Enroll in the box below.
Option 3. Subscribe in a Web based reader:
Once there, you can enter the URL of High Performance Health Care and these Web sites will automatically provide you with a list of updated posts. Its URL is
If you have many favorite Web sites, you know that you have to visit each one to see if they have new materials posted. In contrast, feeds and blogs give you instantaneous updates when information is posted. To retrieve this information you need to subscribe to a feed or blog. It is quite easy and you have several options. Many Web sites have links labeled "XML" or "RSS" or "Atom." All of these are ways of saying that you can find out about updates to that site without having to visit the site in your Web browser.
This feature is referred to as "syndication" or "aggregation." Sometimes it's just called subscribing. And these days, instead of one of these words, many sites will use a little orange button. The standard one looks like this:
It's also common to see buttons that say "RSS" or "XML." All these links and buttons mean the same thing: The site you're viewing has a feed available.
Anyone that publishes on the Web can publish a feed. Blogs (or weblogs) were one of the first types of sites to offer feeds. Most major newspapers and news Web sites, hobbyist sites and even stores such as Amazon.com offer feeds, too. The University of St. Thomas offers a number of blogs that are published by its departments and centers.
What do I need to read a feed or blog?
Just as when you want to watch a video clip or listen to music on the Web, you need a player of some kind to subscribe to feeds. Most of these tools are free, and there are many to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits you.
The player for a feed is called a feed reader. This tool lets you subscribe to any feeds you want, checks automatically to see when they're updated, and then displays the updates for you as they arrive.
Feed readers can run on your computer or you can sign up to use a feed-reader that runs on the Web. If you use one of the Web-based readers, you can access your feeds from anywhere you go, just by signing into the Web site that manages your feeds. If you use a feed reading program that installs on your computer, your feeds can be stored for you even if you're not connected to the Internet.
Which feed reader should I use?
On your computer: If you want a feed reading program that runs on your own computer, there are a few options. Anyone using the Mozilla Firefox Web browser has support for feeds built in. Microsoft Windows users have support for feeds in Internet Explorer 7. Apple Macintosh users can also use the built-in support for feeds in the Safari Web browser. The challenge with readers on your computer is that you need to check them to see what new posts have been fed into your reader.
On the Web: If you don't want to install a program, you may choose My Yahoo!, iGoogle, My MSN or My AOL to read feeds right within the home page for the browser. All of the Web-based services are free. This is the most active way to be engaged with blogs as these feeds will instantaneously update your home page when a new item is posted.
Subscribing to feeds and blogs
Once you've got a tool to read feeds, you'll want to find some feeds worth reading. Many of the tools listed above provide some built-in feeds to get you started. Then, as you visit other sites on the Web, you can keep your eyes open for links that say XML or RSS or Syndication - or for that orange button (above) - and add the feeds you find interesting.
Another quick way to find blogs that interest you is use a search engine such as Google and search on “blogs my subject.” After you read the results you can enter them into your reader.
A final note: Aren't blogs just for political junkies or teenagers?
Blogs initially got a bit of bad name because their focus was on politics and the Web-savvy teenager. If you read newspapers online today you will see a place to comment at the end of each story - each story has become a blog. Some comments are quite odd and frequently inflammatory so those interested in useful dialogue may be put off.
However, a whole new world of professional and informational blogs has arisen that is targeted to individuals who want timely and accurate information. These professional blog postings tend to very timely, fairly short and contain lots of links to other sources for more detailed information. Even though they may be subscribed to by many individuals, they do not get a lot of posted responses and those that do get are usually thoughtful and helpful.
High Performance Health Care is such a blog and you are invited to subscribe. Feel free to post comments - that is how this blog improves and grows.