INFO: What is RSS?

What is RSS? Whenever I mention this three-letter acronym to most people, their brows would raise like I was born in another planet. Either that or they seem to think I'm a metally challenged retard. So hopefully by posting this, I will just refer them here instead and impart a thing or two about RSS and its practical use(s).

But what really is RSS? RSS is a generally accepted format of web content that is used by millions to keep track of website changes or updates. Webmaster, bloggers, or authors would publish syndicated content of their news, blogs, and other content as an RSS feed to whoever wants it.

These are the generally accepted meanings of the acronym -- RDF Site Summary, Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication. Whichever of the those, when used, pertain to the same thing. RSS feeds are sometimes referred to as news feeds or just plainly a feed.

Think of RSS as a modern implementation of a bookmark. In the ways of the old, you would bookmark a website and regularly check it for updates. RSS in a similar manner is a bookmark to the website, but the biggest difference is you will not have to visit the website. All you need is for an RSS reader or RSS aggregator to do it for you. Instead of you coming to the site for information, it is instead delivered to you. It will make more sense when you start using to use it.

A variety of RSS readers or aggregators are available on the web. Some are free and some are not. We had to go through several of them to get a better feel of the functionalities and complexities of each. The most popular web aggregator is Google Reader.

To get a better feel or looks of an RSS feed, click here to sample a feed of pimp-my-rig reloaded.

What is RSS?

The above image is the icon for an RSS feed. Whenever you see that icon or its derivatives, it means the website is advertising its RSS feed available for you to subscribe. And the aggregator will automatically fetch updates for you without having to browse every bookmark. So now that you are aware of RSS feeds, grab an aggregator and start subscription to RSS feeds of bookmarked sites and see for yourself the influence of RSS.

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