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Facebook: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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Subscriptions

Technically, subscriptions are Web feeds—those ubiquitous summary blurbs provided by Web publishers like the New York Times and Reuters and known to geeks everywhere as RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication depending on who you ask. Whatever you call them, think of a subscription as a continuously updated newsletter that's stored as a big chunk of data that you can format and view however you like—as a basic, no-frills list of items on a Web page, for example, or in a fancy online news reader.

Note

When you follow the steps in Subscribing to Friends' Status Updates, your subscription appears as a basic list on a Web page. To see it in a different format, check out one of the many free news reader (a.k.a. aggregator) programs and services, such as Bloglines(www.bloglines.com), Google Reader (www.google.com/reader), or Feed Demon (www.newsgator.com). For an in-depth look at all things Web feed, check out http://oreilly.com/feeds.

Subscriptions don't give you any info that you couldn't find by combing through Facebook, but they make that information easier to get to because it appears on a single Web page that updates automatically. Plus, you don't have to log in to Facebook to see it. And, depending on which Web browser you use, you can customize the way you see subscription info. For example, if you use Internet Explorer, you can sort subscription info, specify how often you want to see updates, and even play a sound when the info gets updated. ...

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