If you have used the internet, you have probably experienced RSS and not even known it. What is RSS? RSS Stands for Rich Site Summary. It was formally known as RDF Site Summary, or research description framework. Often called really simple syndication, RSS is a group of web feed formats that publish frequently updated content.
RSS sites may include blog entries, news headlines, audio and video, and other frequently updated web formats. Rss feeds benefit their publishers because it lets them syndicate information automatically. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. RSS syndication has been a blessing to so many news related sites, web blogs, and other online publishers.
You may still be wondering how this benefits the average internet user. It is a benefit to frequent web users every day. RSS makes it possible for you to grab all of the latest information online without wasting time going to each web site individually. Not only will RSS save you time, but it also ensures user privacy. RSS allows you to avoid signing up for the email newsletter to each site you want to use. What a relief to your inbox.
It may sound too good to be true, and you may be thinking it is going to take something fancy and expensive to read these RSS feeds. In this case, you would be wrong. Simple software for a feed reader or news aggregator will allow you to get the RSS feeds from various sites and make them usable.
A bunch of RSS readers are available for different types of systems. Some popular feed readers include Amphetadesk, used for Windows, Linux,and Mac; FeedReader, used for windows; and NewsGator that is used for Windows and can integrate with Outlook. There are also a number of web based feed readers available. My Yahoo, Bloglines, and Google Reader are commonly used web based readers. Today, you can even get RSS readers for your mobile device.
Once you have your feed reader installed, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content, and adding them to the list of feeds your feed reader checks. If you are not sure if the site syndicates content, look for a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available.
Technology like this can make our lives fast and easy. Now you know how to stay up to date with news, popular blogs, and more. Get familiar with your options and optimize their uses. If you have any suggestions for RSS uses or feed readers, please leave your comments below.