What is RSS Feed?
Did you come across the word RSS Feeds while browsing the internet? For the newcomers, it seems to be a jargon but the people who greatly depend on internet for acquiring information, this term is very common. In my earlier days, I started freelance writing online and I was completely unaware of such technical terms. As the time goes on, I have been updating myself with the new terms and techniques.
Now I am getting regular updates from my favorite websites with the help of RSS feeds. It is really a wonderful way to keep you up to date with latest news, headlines and contents. Sure there are other ways to gain subscription from a website. But a large number of web users find it useful and most importantly they maintain their privacy by not sharing the email addresses.
In this post, we will find the answers of what, why and how ….. What does RSS mean actually? Why should we care for this? How does it work?
What is RSS?
RSS means Really Simple Syndication. It has other versions including RSS0.91 (Rich Site Summary), RSS0.9 and 1.0 (RDF Site Summary) and RSS2.0 (Real-time Simple Syndication). They have different meanings but the function remains the same: to get updated information directly from your favorite websites to your computer.
Why should we care for RSS?
RSS is very useful to those people who want to stay informed with the latest news and information. Once you subscribe the RSS feeds,
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- You will get instant updates from your favorite websites on a regular basis.
- You can save time as you don’t have to visit different websites individually, to retrieve updated news and posts. Using any feed reader, you will get notification of changes into a single window.
- You can have all the latest headlines and changes categorized by theme.
- You can maintain your privacy since you need not to join any email newsletter by sharing your email addresses.
What about the bloggers and webmasters? If you are a blogger, then you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to provide RSS feeds for your audience. When you upload new posts or make any changes in your blog and promote the feed efficiently, it helps you to bring more steady traffic to your site.
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Got it? Now we move to next part…
What is a feed reader?
When you subscribe to any blog or website, you will receive the updates automatically using the software termed as Feed Reader or RSS Reader. You may not be aware of feed reader but have definitely been using it. If you use Yahoo or MSN homepage, you’ve had RSS features included in. Otherwise you can retrieve syndicated contents from the website of your choice that offer RSS to deliver updates.
Depending on the platforms used, feed readers are of different types such as web-based, desktop-based or mobile deceive based. My Yahoo, Bloglines, Google Reader are widely used as web-based feed readers. Newsgator and Feed Demon are the examples of desktop-based feed readers. Some other popular feed readers are Amphetadesk(Windows, Linux, Mac), FeedReader(Windows).
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How does RSS work?
RSS feed is the list of notifications written in simple XML text file. Webmasters need to create an RSS feed for their websites and then upload to a special feed server. People who subscribe your RSS feed will check the list. RSS feed server do the task of pushing the text files down to their computer screen.
How to Use RSS?
The all you need to do is to find a good RSS feed reader for yourself. There are various feed readers and most of them are free and easy to use. Google reader used to be the most capable and secure reader to subscribe to blog updated but unfortunately, it has been discontinued. However, many web based readers are available now on the web for free to follow the latest contents.
Finally, how do you subscribe to your favorite website feeds?
At first, you should search for feed options on your favorite websites. These days, you may have seen a variety of little buttons (called chicklets) appearing on the sites.
For feed subscription, you click on the icon; it will lead you to a page that contains a list of the most popular feed readers. You need to select any one of your choice. Sometimes, you will find orange icons stating RSS or XML. After clicking, a new page will be appeared and you have copy your page URl and paste it into your feed subscription box.