Managing Your Subscriptions
You can't read subscribed Web resources until you ... subscribe to them. (No one can accuse me of being dull-witted, eh)?
Radio gives us several royal roads to the 'Rome' of subscriptions. Let me offer you this simple road map so you don't get lost along the way.
Using the Coffee Cup to Subscribe
You can subscribe to any weblog anywhere in the world that supports the RSS format (don't ask and I won't tell). While you are not required to make your Radio weblog subscribable, the capability to do this comes for free with your purchase of Radio.
You will recognize these weblogs (most of them, anyway) because they display a clickable XML coffee cup icon on their home page:
When you click that icon, Radio will transport you from that weblog to the subscription page in your local copy of Radio. Follow the simple instructions given here to confirm your subscription.
Checking Out The Most Popular Feeds
The Status Center links in the right column of your weblog offer a link to the top-100 Most-Subscribed-To Channels:
Clicking that will take you to your own version of this page:
While you won't want to follow the herd, this page does suggest which weblogs other people in the Userland community have found desirable. These weblogs are not restricted only to those using Radio itself. Any weblog that has registered with Userland's weblogs.com service will be tracked by Userland.
My page above shows the weblogs within this list to which I am already subscribed.
To subscribe: select a weblog (one at a time!) by clicking in a checkbox in the left panel. Then click the Subscribe button. You're done! You will now receive regular content from the selected weblog to your News Aggregator page.
To unsubscribe, uncheck of the weblog boxes (one at a time!) and then click Subscribe again. The weblog will be removed from your list of subscriptions.
All The News That's Fit for the News (Aggregator)
Dave Winer has long been an admirer of the New York Times. I used to be until the Times began writing its editorials within the body of its news articles. As they say, 'don't get me started ...'.
Nonetheless. Dave Winer has wrangled a deal with the Times to carry their content for exclusive pub-sub feeds to Radio subscribers. To that I can say whoo-hoo! Here is how you subscribe to one or more of the Times' many sections:
1. Open your copy of Radio by double-clicking on the Radio icon or by selecting the Radio program from the Windows Start menu.
2. Go the the Userland page that lists the different sections of the Times that are available for subscription. A portion of the page is shown below:
3. Click on one of the little coffee cups on that page for a New York Times section to which you want to subscribe.
4. This will place you within your copy of Radio at the News Aggregator page where you can confirm your subscription - click here for visual samples and help on completing this or any weblog subscription. You're done.
All right, I will say that I never would have imagined even ten years ago that I could receive the New York Times on demand (my demand) to my mailbox .... online .... for free. Very cool.
Reading Your Subscribed Weblogs
If you are newly arrived within the world of Radio, you may be thinking, "fine. Now I know how to subscribe. But where do I go to read the weblogs to which I am subscribed and how often will I see new material?
Let me answer the last question first.
Turning On Your Aggregator
Userland will automatically update your weblog to receive and display new content from your subscribed weblogs once per hour - assuming, of course, that a given weblog has posted something new to its home page during that hour.
Your News Aggreator must be turned on in order to receive the content. You do this within the News Aggregator portion of the Prefs section of your local weblog, reachable from the Radio Command Menu:
Clicking 'Enable the aggregator' displays this page:
Reading Your Content on the News Aggregator Page
Radio offers us a useful page for reading weblogs and other Web resources to which we have been subscribed - the News Aggregation page. You can reach this in one of two ways:
1. By clicking the News link within the Radio Command Menu at the top of any of your local weblog pages.
2. By clicking the News Aggregator link within the Status Center. The Status Center links are displayed in the right column of your local weblog's home page.
Your News Aggregator page will look somewhat like this:
Welcome to the leading-edge of a surfeit of riches with much more to come. Within a year or two, I believe there will be hundreds of thousands of websites that offer subscription capabilities.