mellicious: pink manicure (vote)
[personal profile] mellicious
AKA How to track your Representatives' votes

I am something of a moron when it comes to RSS feeds, and I figure I'm not the only one. So I present this entry as a public service.[personal profile] twistedchickposted a very useful entry the other day which gives, among other things, links to Washington Post pages with feeds for every Senator and Representative. The problem is, I don't know about you, but I have no idea what to do with those links, generally. I've tried Bloglines, which I hardly ever remember to check, and Kinja, which I do remember to check once in a while (I like its format much better than Bloglines'). But in fact, the only "aggregator" I really use on a day-to-day basis is Livejournal. So I hereby present a small tutorial on putting feeds into Livejournal.

1. Find your feed. This is the little orange "XMS" button you see on webpages. (Or some places it will say "Syndicate this Site" or something to that effect.) For example, the page for the truly reprehensible junior senator from Texas is here, and you have to scroll down a way to find the XMS button, but it's there.
2. Copy the link. Right-click that orange button and hit "Copy Link Location" in Firefox. I think in IE it's "Copy Shortcut."
3. Go to your userinfo page in Livejournal. This may vary some for different styles, but on mine there's a section in the right sidebar that says "Find Users" and the bottom link there is "Browse Feeds."
4. This takes you to the Syndication page. Scroll down past the Popular Feeds to where it says "Add Feed By URL." Paste in the link you copied in step 2.
5. If somebody else has already added it, LJ will give you an option to add it, too. If nobody has, it asks you to name your feed. (I called mine "cornynvotes.") Then hit the button to add the name, and then if all goes well, it will give you the option to add to your friends page. Same naming rules seem to  apply as for regular LJ names - no spaces or most special characters, but underscores are ok.

What you get is entries that look like this one - and links with some more information so you can try to figure out what it's talking about. (I got one about cloture votes. I had to look it up. I was once a government major, but it was a long, long time ago.)

Don't know who your Representative is? Look here. (And don't listen to people who tell you you should feel guilty if you don't know. Congressmen, state representatives, state senators - I don't know about you, but I can't keep 'em all straight.)



(I also used this technique to add a feed for[profile] ms_hooligan's website. You can - hopefully! - find it at[profile] celluloid_eyes.)

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