Monday, May 10, 2010

Explain This to Me.

There are certain things in cyberspace that I cannot seem to wrap my head around.  So I'm asking you to explain it to me.  You can answer as many of these questions you are capable of answering, or you can just agree that you too are befuddled by the following.

It's extremely easy to post comments to my blog, which I will address in question #2.  So I would appreciate it if you would post today in one of two ways:  either answer as many of my questions as possible, or publicly agree that you too are as confused as I am so I don't feel all alone.  Ok.  Here we go.

Question #1 - RSS Feeds.  What?

Question #2 - Blogger vs. WordPress.
First.  For those who don't even know what Blogger or WordPress are, they are free services that allow you to create your own blog.  Hangin' With Hendo, this very blog, is hosted by Blogger.  Ok.  Now onto the question.

It seems the overwhelming majority of people are pro WordPress for their blogging needs over Blogger.  But I have a Blogger account (Hangin' With and I have a WordPress account (The mainpage).  

My Blogger account is way easier to navigate.  The WordPress account tends to be clunky and every time I log in, it feels like the first time and I have to figure everything out all over again.  The WordPress account also gets inundated with spam comments, so I've been forced to hire homeland security to protect the page, which is why we never get any comments on our main page posts.  Who wants to spend 45 minutes registering and cracking CAPTCHA codes?  Obviously, none of you do.  Meanwhile, Hangin' With Hendo, hosted by Blogger, has minimal settings in place where we are all free to comment back and forth.  And we will demonstrate that ease of commenting with today's blog post, won't we?  Indeed we will. 

So why is everyone slagging Blogger and loving WordPress?  Am I missing something?  Explain it to me. 

Question #3 - Video Podcasts vs. YouTube.
@ninicamps and I are talking about doing a video podcast.  But our brains get scrambled over a few things.  Why would we start a video podcast for you to download when you can all come to our website and stream it instead?

If the answer is - because you can download the podcast to your iPod or computer to watch whenever you feel like it - that's a fine enough answer-ish.  But you can also stream it on those devices via the internet.  So that's not a total answer.

Or maybe it's because we would be exposing ourselves to a whole new audience - those who love podcasts.  Ok.  That's a pretty good answer.  But here's the real question to this question: 

Why are there RSS Feeds involved with podcasts?  And for that matter, please refer back to question #1 because what the hell is an RSS feed?  And do any of you happen to know if I have an RSS Feed or is this something I need to create? 

Ok.  That's enough questions for one blog.

For those of you wondering why on Earth I'd be reading Blogging For Dummies, you now have your answer.


Clearly, I understood the chapter on monetizing my blog:


  1. I happened to see this right before my departure to Target, so I thought I'd respond...

    The first question, I have no idea. You could google it though. haha

    Question two, I also have both... I prefer using blogger, but I use my wordpress more. Figure that one out. I've also used Xanga and livejournal. I just like trying out new sites.

    And question number three, once again, no idea.

    I hope you get computer savvy people that respond. haha As for me, time to listen to The Boss and head to Target.

  2. 1. I agree. What?
    2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    3. I prefer YouTube. I can watch it on my phone, or computer. If I have the time to download it to my ipod/phone, I have the time to watch it while I'm there.

    Great show yesterday. I have to say, the sound from the top seats was amazing! Y'all sounded fantastic. (and as I was in the boat/lake house pre-show, I can say y'all looked amazing too.) Top seats blocked the wind a wee bit too. Don't know how you made your fingers work.

  3. Serensky, I expect more in depth answers from you when you return from Target. Do you subscribe to any RSS Feeds? Or is that too personal a question?

    And Lisa, thanks for braving that freezing cold weather. Did you think our fingers were working? Good. We fooled you.

  4. If you subscribe to a feed or someone else's website or blog or whatever, the RSS feed updates all of YOUR updates so you don't have to keep checking if your favorite websites (yours and mine-i would hope mine is one of yours) updated anything. But then again, I get email updates for my favorite webbys that are updated so honestly I don't get the RSS feed.

    I have wordpress. I like wordpress. It has a blocker on it that blocks spam comments. This makes me very non-eeyorish. I don't get blogger. I had a blogger. I didn't like the themes. Wordpress has a ton of themes. Sometimes designers get a little tired of designing, and they want things done automatically. This is why I like wordpress. And if I don't like a background theme. I can change it. EUREKA!! And I don't have to go over illustrator or photoshop to do anything.

    I kinda dig the video podcasts. I can put them on my pod. I can't put youtube on my pod.

    As for the brain is just as bewildered and discombobulated as yours.

  5. OK. Let's discuss this RSS Feed thing. I have subscribed to a few of them, and yes, yours is one of them. So they live on my navigation bar and I have to click on it, just like I would on a bookmark, to see if there's an update. So why is that more or less convenient than a bookmark? Is it that I don't have to phyically go to the page to see if there's an update? And that's THE benefit of it?

    And what the heck is feedburner? I think I have an account, but I'm not sure. And let's assume I do have one. Is it a place where all my RSS subscriptions live so I can see if anyone has updated their blog? And if I'm going to it to see if people have updated, isn't it just as easy to go see if people have updated?


  6. And J-Bird, one more thing. Why do I get, literally, 450 spams on my WordPress page a day and you don't get any. I hate having the security settings set so high, but if I don't, we get BLASTED with crap. Whaddup with that?

  7. 1. I don't get the RSS thing. The thought of it causes my dyslexic brain to spin in circles more than it usually does. So, I just don't have anything to do with them.

    2. I use tumblr. Which you may have noticed, when Rainee & I covered AR. I like tumblr for it's easy to use and like wordpress, it has a lot of themes. I completely concur with Joely on the theme issue. I find blogger to be visually bland.

    3. You pointed out the pros of a video podcast. And I agree. But, sticking with youtube might be easier. And on that note, I think that's a great idea. It's something I've been hoping you'd do. I'm a huge fan of video blogs/diaries and the like. When they are done right.


  8. I still have nothing on the RSS feed. I even read about it. It seems like it's supposed to be something like a facebook feed where you see what updates have been made, but then the more that I read, the more confused I became. I'll still with just bookmarking sites and clicking on them when I want to see what's new.

    And nope, I don't subscribe to any RSS feeds, seeing as I don't even know what the hell it is. lol I'm going to try it though and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

    Sorry that I have no new answers. Target didn't enlighten me. However, I found the touch & feel Julius and Friends book! That should count as something.


    I think what this says is basically you have to have a reader, which is a program used to read the feeds and then the RSS stores the websites you go to but you have to go to that google has a reader..once you go to that reader. Once you have a reader, you can subscribe to the websites you want and you can click on the RSS and then it will ask you what reader you have. Once you select, for example, google reader..or yahoo reader or AIM reader..or a LIveJornal reader, etc. it will automatically store your websites you subscribe to and update you.

    But you have to have a reader. I don't get it either. That's what I've deduced. OY.

    I don't remember at all having to mark my wordpress on high alert for spam. I seem to recall it automatically does it for me. I'll blog, post it, and when I check the stats, it will automatically tell me it has stopped 50 spam comments from being posted. Maybe b.c. you have an advanced level of wordpress whereas I just have the plain ol' basic IT'S FREE wordpress...that could be it. I don't know Lucy...I can no 'splain it. Hmmmmm...

  10. OH yeah and feedburner... this summed it up for me.. it was a little clearer than what the wiki had...

  11. rss feeds/podcasts can be automatically pushed to a reader in a non-intrusive fashion. there are all types of readers; you can have new items scrolling on your desktop or open the podcast page of itunes and see what is new.

    Imagine a set of news stories scrolling that also include click for video.

    Additionally, these download onto your system so that even if you are offline you can view a file (subscribed items download automatically) And, you can set up your reader to keep a history (i.e. last three podcasts)

    There is probably more... but those are the features I use!

  12. New set of news stories scrolling...isn't that what twitter is for lol? Scrolling stories with links to click for video;-)? i know i's not..but it is..but it's not.

  13. 1. RSS feed - allows you to use rss readers like feedburner or bloglines to put all your blogs you follow in one place and see which ones have updates all from one place. Makes it sort of like can see how many new emails (new posts on a blog) you have in your inbox (rss reader), and click thru each one to read them in your inbox rather than having to go to the website. I can send you screen shots since a picture is worth a thousand words. If you follow more than 5 blogs, rss reader is a MUST HAVE! (BTW - I follow your blog via I rarely actually visit your blog URL but read all your updates. I only come to your blogspot URL to leave a commment or see what others have commented) Blogger handles making it work via RSS.

    Wordpress vs blogger - i dont blog a ton, but basic difference....wordpress: you can make your blogs look much much nicer. It's better for people who really want to make their blogs look different and have more creative control. blogger - build by google, therefore hella-good (e.g. spam technology, uptime, speed, etc) but techy and less creative freedom on how it looks.

    Podcast vs youtube - smart phones are blurring the lines. Podcast=take it with you like your songs. Youtube=radio, you need to be online or within range to listen to the song. Smart phones (e.g iPhone) make it like you are online almost all the time so you can do a blog post with a link to youtube and most people will be able to see it.

    Hope that helps. Let me know your email if you want me to send some screen shots of an RSS reader so you can see what I am talking about.

  14. Ok. My brain is trying desperately to grasp the RSS concept. So I can subscribe to all my fave blogs and add them to my google reader and then I just go to my google reader to see if any of my fave blogs have updates. Go it. ish. I'm now subscribed via my google reader to about 8 blogs and I'll keep checking back until I get the hang of it.

    Next question. What is Feedburner and is it NOT an RSS Reader?

    Next question after that. I created an RSS Feed through Feedburner in addition to the RSS Feed that already exists on this blog, for ARTV. In order to submit a podcast I need an RSS Feed. But I have to upload the RSS Feed to a server and somehow upload video so that iTunes knows that I uploaded it and I officially don't have any idea of what I speak of.

    Chuck or Chrissy, do you have any clue?

    I'm downright determined to figure this out in between changing diapers. In fact, I'm willing to wear a diaper and sit at this computer until I do...

    One step too far?


  15. Clarification - I created an RSS Feed for ARTV and I want to start submitting videos to iTunes for a podcast. The RSS Feed for ARTV is in addition to the RSS Feed that already exists for this Blog.

    I just don't get how you make the videos correspond to the RSS Feed.

    Am I making any sense yet?

  16. I think of RSS Feeds as a personal wire service. When you update your blog you can go places like ping-o-matic and feedburner and put in your blog address (your blog also does this automatically but I've found pinging helps if you update frequently) and it will tell the RSS world you have updates. This gets the news out faster, so when someones googles your name, AR, etc, it's likely to be one of the top answers for that day. sometimes. cause google is nebulous like that.

  17. The feedburner isn't an RSS feed, but it's's like a service that can change an RSS feed into a readable format for all. From what I've read, it keeps tabs on subscribers of the feeds by creating stats - how many people read the many click on links in the feeds..where they're located. It's like feedburner is big brother watching if you ask me. Maybe the others can explain better, but that's my guestimation. Does that help? My coworker also can attest to this. She tried to break it down to me..but this was hours after my second cup of coffee. So my brain kinda sunk. This was the best I could muster.

    I feel like we're all trying an equation that just won't work. Or we have a remainder that shouldn't be there.

  18. @mandaxwp, oh god. Tumblr. I know. It's on my list of things. Why, why, WHY so much to learn.

    @amy nelson, if you can understand with twins, I can understand with twins. So I'm starting to get it. I can actually go to feedburner and let it know to let you know I've updated? I'm intrigued...what do I have to do to make it ping? I was nosing around on Feedburner last night and I get the diff. between it and an RSS Reader now. Whoot whoot.

    @J-Bird, SKRAMP. Love it.

    Am I going to have to purchase Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies ®
    or Podcasting For Dummies? Is this the road I'm headed down?

  19. Tumblr is easy. And I like it, mostly.

    But, for whatever reason, I'm blaming my dyslexia again, I do NOT understand RSS feeds. Normally, technology/social media/blah blah is not a problem for me.

    I think it's the things I've read. It's not working with my backwards brain. I'm very visual, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that knows me.

    Also, even though it's frustrating me, I have an urge to figure this shit out now... Yet, at the same time, I don't want to know, since I don't need it.


  20. Feedburner is an RSS reader. Any major blog service (like blogspot or wordpress) automatically turns your blogposts into a feed (see, yours is The format for the feed is call RSS (same way the format for a web page is HTML). RSS readers check periodically the feeds you've subscribed to to see if there are updates from your blog. The feedreader just displays RSS in a pretty UI that lets you see, "oh, hendo updated her blog since i last read it...let me click on her blog and see the new post all without ever leaving my RSS reader".

    I am not a podcast fan (more of a time issue than a technology one) I don't know too much about it. Generally, though, same principle must apply...create your podcast on a popular site and it will automatically create a feed (using the RSS format) that iTunes can read. Apple online info is usually decent for the I'd read this

    Have fun!

  21. I'm starting to get it. The RSS thing. Since I got me Google Reader going. I have no need for it, but I've got it working. Following a few blogs.

    My only question, how to I set it up so people can follow/subscribe to my blog that way...?


  22. Google Reader is another RSS reader. (also reads other formats)...also yahoo has one, pageflakes, newsgator, etc.

    I happen to use Bloglines for my reader (since it's part of where I work). Bloglines has a feature (and I'm guessing google reader and feedburner have this too) where it adds a little icon to your toolbar. If you are browsing around the web and find a blog you like, you click the icon in the toolbar and it "subscribes you" to that blog...meaning, it adds that blog to the list of blogs you follow in your reader. When you subscribe, it just means that your reader will watch that blog (and it's feed that probably in RSS or could be another format...but let's just stick to RSS for this discussion) for updates and when there's an update, show it.

    Anyone using an RSS reader can follow any blog that has an RSS feed version of the blog. If you are are using any major blog software/site (blogger, wordpress, etc) to create your blog, then anyone can subscribe to it if they are using a reader. They can subscribe to it because the blogging software/site (e.g. wordpress) automatically converts your entry into an RSS feed and makes it available to anyone that has an RSS reader like Bloglines. If you want to promote/advertise, then put a note in the right side of your blog that encourages them to subscribe. (see the right side of a site like this

  23. OK, so now that I actually comprehend this RSS Feed thing...if I start a new blog and only add video to it and I submit the RSS feed to iTunes, will that work for a podcast?

    Or do I actually have to do some reading on the topic?