RSS Feeds

Written by Andrew Morrison

You may have been seeing these little orange RSS or XML buttons around the Internet. Or this little graphic:

If you were wondering what they are…It’s “the next big thing” — you can use it to get newsfeeds from CNN or ESPN, as well as just about anything else, including news on upcoming movies, DVD releases, your favorite musician’s tour updates, etc., even the latest news about Straw Bale Building!

RSS technology has revolutionized the way people access information from the internet. “RSS” means “Really Simple Syndication.” What it means to you is that when you subscribe to a site that has an RSS feed (like this blog), you can keep up-to-date without having to check the site every day or week.

In the old days the only way to get news on a favorite subject like “straw bale” was to have it delivered to you in the form of a newspaper or magazine, or via an e-mail newsletter. Well, RSS “feeds” have changed the way news is delivered to people by allowing a subscriber to have news on their favorite topic delivered directly to their desktop.

Once you get started, it’s like having your favorite parts of the Web come to you. No need to go out and check for updates all the time. No need to check your e-mail to get the latest breakthrough tip from!

So how do you get started? Easy! There are 2 ways to go forward:

The first way to subscribe to RSS feeds involves getting what is called a “feedreader”. This is special software that will read RSS feeds. Here are 2 options for Windows and Mac users:
Windows — FeedDemon
Mac — NetNewsWire

Once you’re set up, here’s all you have to do…

Right-click (control-click for Mac users) on any orange RSS button on a site, blog or news source that interests you. Then…

Select Copy Shortcut (“Copy Link to Clipboard” for Mac, “Copy Link Location” for Firefox browsers), and paste that URL into your RSS Reader.

And that’s it! You’re subscribed.

Here’s the red button for a feed from “The Straw Bale House” Blog. Right click on it and you can subscribe to regular straw bale news, tools, tips,and techniques from Andrew Morrison, our straw bale expert.

Right-click and get started.

The second way to subscribe to RSS feeds is to subscribe through programs such as My Yahoo! or My MSN or Google….

Add to My Yahoo!
Add The Straw Bale House Blog RSS to your “My Yahoo!”

Add The Straw Bale House Blog RSS to your “My MSN”

Add to Google
Add The Straw Bale House Blog RSS to your Google homepage.

I have given you a long list of available feeds on the right hand side of this page. I will add more as they become available.
I hope you have found this of some help.
Happy Baling,
the webguy for

One Response

  1. Andrew, We received the CDs and there is a ton of information there. I do have a couple of questions. We want the post and beam to show on the inside of the house so we will put a foundation that runs along the outside of the posts for the straw bale walls. But we also want a porch that runs around the entire perimeter of the home. The porch will protect the walls for much of the home – but the gable ends have wall extending above the porch roof. What technique do you use to do that? Do you simply build up through the porch roof rafters and then sheet the porch roof or ??

    At 12:44 PM, Andrew Morrison said…

    Stan, I wrote a fairly detailed response to a question similar to this on today’s blog entry about the November Green Building Pod cast. Please check out the comments in that post. Your question about the gable ends is more specific than what I answered in the other post so I will address that here. You can solve the dilemma in a couple ways. One is to do as you suggest and build the roof first and then place the bales in between the rafters as you bale. This is difficult and may be more of a hassle than you want to deal with. Another option is to build the porch after the bales are in place and straightened. You can then cut a ledger into the bales themselves, attached through to the interior face of the bales with twine and sewn in place with the mesh. You would then attach the porch rafters to the ledger and flash the joint with rigid metal flashing before you plaster. Another option is possible if the porch will intersect the wall above the second floor framing (if there is any). In that case, you can cantilever the framing over the beams to the outside face of the wall and build a small pony wall to attach the patio roof framing to. The bales would then be placed on top of the pony wall (one would need to be built on the inside face of the bales as well). This space would provide excellent access for wiring and plumbing chases as well. Any of these three options could work fine for your situation. I hope you find one that works well for you.

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