Before I get into what the newsfeed is, I have updated the Craft Beer Index. In case you have not been visiting regularly over the last 45 days, I have marked some of the new beers covered during that period as “New!” Also, I provided a brief update to the About page. It is more for new people visiting the site for the first time; many of you already know why the site has grown to reach thousands of craft beer people.
OK, so what is that little orange button that you see to the left for the main page stories and to the right for the ‘Buy Beer’ stories?
That is the universal symbol for ‘Really Simple Syndication.’ Think of it as having a digital newspaper delivered to you daily, only you get to pick the types of stories that go into the paper and the stories come from different sources. These sources are called “feeds” when digital. So you can get the news from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the L.A. Times (or whatever news sites provide free material). And instead of getting the paper daily, the individual stories are fed to you as they are published. The stories stay archived in your ‘reader’ (see below) for a long time so you can ignore what you have subscribed to for a week or a month or longer. They stay there until you unsubscribe, which you can do easily at any time.
What is a feed reader? This is the program that you use to read your stories. You don’t even have to download anything. Google Reader is the most popular option; it just requires that you sign up for a free Google account. I use an actual program that I access from my desktop as pictured above. You can sort all of the feeds to which you subscribe by categories as I have done.
In addition to visiting the beernews.org site, I encourage you to subscribe to the main feed and the ‘buy beer’ feed as well so that you don’t miss anything. For those subscribing to email already, it is the same thing, just faster updates. The second beer feed that you should consider subscribing to is the Really Simple Beer Syndication (RSBS) feed, a consolidation of just about every beer blog out there, created by Jonathon of Beermapping.com and Beerinator.com.