This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...
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I talk a lot about using BT:Engage for helping sites and communities deepen their engagement with their online audience. It’s also extremely easy (and fun!) to create browser themes for your own use and pleasure.

In the following post and accompanying video tutorial, I’m going to show you how to spin a browser theme that includes news from your favorite news site.This occurred to me recently as I looked at the Huffington Post browser theme my wife’s been using for years. She would not part with the news ticker in the browser theme’s toolbar. I’m just happy she’s using a Brand Thunder theme. But, I realized I could give her a fresh look grabbing the RSS feed link from the HuffPo site and inserting it into the RSS/Atom reader under the Widgets tab.

This 90 second video tutorial will show you how I did it. The typed out steps follow.

Here are the quick steps to take to build your own news browser theme:

  • Go to Brand Thunder’s web site and click the Try it Now button for the Design, Build and Share your own browser themes promotion. When you’re in BT:Engage, click Get Started.
  • Design the theme any way you want, using the background and logo library of images or upload your own under My Images.
  • To add the news feed, click the Widgets tab. Then drag the RSS/Atom reader button up to the toolbar.
  • The properties box will have a place to type or paste an RSS Feed URL. Click Validate, and then Save.
  • Click Finish to publish your browser theme and go to your sharing page Preview, where you can download your new theme.

How to find the news feed for a site:

  • Most of your main stream news sites like CNN, Fox News, The Huffington Post, MSNBC or NPR offer RSS feeds. You’ll usually find the link in the footer, or near the very bottom, of their web page.
  • Otherwise look for the RSS icon, pictured at the top of the blog. This is the universal identifier of RSS feeds and you can often find it in the left or right hand sides of web sites.

I hope this helps and I hope you discover a new way to enjoy your browser theme.

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