The ListGarden program makes it practical to use an RSS feed for many simple and perhaps personal or non-profit applications. These applications may not need a companion website. The RSS feed itself, perhaps complemented by the ListGarden optional HTML output, may be all that is needed. Examples of such simple applications include:
- Companions to email notices or newsletters
- Ongoing status or coordination information about a project or when planning an event
- General alert information if all the target recipients are known to use RSS readers
- Experimentation with RSS for prototyping other applications
- Simple lists such as that described in "Example Of A Simple Online List"
Such RSS files take up very little disk storage space on a web server and can be hosted by almost any form of web hosting. While RSS feeds are traditionally stored on a complete website along with other, related web pages, these simple applications may be good candidates for hosting on inexpensive storage space available to most people without a special domain or "catchy" URL nor a complete website itself.
Many Internet service providers, such as Comcast, Earthlink, and Verizon, provide web hosting storage space as part of their normal offering. While usually described as being for "Personal Home Pages", this space can also be used to host RSS XML files as well as the optional HTML files. The ISPs often provide the space along with some simple tools for creating "Personal Home Pages", but they also often provide FTP access that can be used by ListGarden to automatically upload the files.
Listed here are instructions for using a few popular ISPs. If they do not include your ISP, the instructions may still give you hints about what to look for in the help pages of your ISP.
In some cases, the use of web hosting storage must be explicitly enabled. This is usually done through some sort of administrative control panel where you have access to other settings, such as setting up extra email accounts, changing passwords, etc.
Here are instructions for using ListGarden with the ISPs Comcast, Earthlink, and Verizon:
Subscribers to Comcast's cable modem service get up to 25MB of what is called "Online Storage"
or "Personal Webpages". It must be explicitly enabled.
On the Account Management page you go to "Manage Personal Web Pages",
set the "enabled" radio button, and press the "Update" button.
The FTP URL is "upload.comcast.net".
The FTP user name and password are your normal Comcast user name and password.
The top directory for serving is accessed with a blank FTP Directory setting in ListGarden.
The RSS file URL will end up in "http://home.comcast.net/~yourUserName".
For example, if your user name is "j.smith", and you create an RSS XML file
with an FTP Filename of "rss.xml", it will be accessible as
Earthlink provides up to 10MB of free "Webspace" per email address.
You must first use the
Web Site Resource Center
to get the FTP information, which needs your email information.
You will be given the Host value to use for ListGarden's FTP URL (e.g., "ftp-www.earthlink.net"),
Username for the FTP User field (e.g., "email@example.com"),
password information (e.g., "Use your email password"),
and the URL of the home directory for web pages (e.g., "http://home.earthlink.net/~jsmith").
When using ListGarden to FTP to Earthlink, you need to set the FTP Directory
explicitly. The top HTML directory is "webdocs", so to put "rss.xml" in the
"top" directory, you would set the ListGarden FTP Directory to "webdocs" and the FTP Filename to "rss.xml",
and find the result in "http://home.earthlink.net/~jsmith/rss.xml".
Users of Verizon's DSL service have access to 10 MB of "Personal Web Space".
To activate the web space, you must first start using the "Site Builder".
You should start as if you were creating a website.
You do not need to actually finish and publish the website (though you may).
When you get to the "All My Sites" page you can go back to the
Verzion "My Web Space: Personal Web Space" page and look in the "Helpful Tools"
section for "FTP Server Information".
There you will find information for connecting by FTP.
The ListGarden FTP URL is listed as the "Host Name" ("ftpmysite.verizon.net"),
the user name and password are your normal user name and password,
the FTP Directory top may be blank, and the files will end
up in "http://mysite.verizon.net/userName".
So, if your username is "jsmith" to put "rss.xml" in the top directory you set FTP Directory to blank and
FTP Filename to "rss.xml" and find the results in "http://mysite.verizon.net/jsmith/rss.xml".
There are website "communities", such as Lycos' Tripod, that provide free space on a web server. These are usually funded by advertisements that are added automatically to HTML pages.
To use Tripod: Sign up for Tripod. Once you have an account (and you are "a member"), you can FTP to your new webspace as by using an FTP URL of "ftp.tripod.com", an FTP User name and password of your Tripod member name and password, and a blank directory. (This information comes from the "Tripod FTP Guide" page.) The resulting web pages will be in "http://memberName.tripod.com". So, for example, if your Tripod membership name is "jsmith48", you could upload "rss.xml" and it would be accessible as "http://jsmith48.tripod.com/rss.xml".