What Is RSS? How To Use RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Without getting in the technical details, RSS is simply a useful tool for keeping yourself abreast of updates on your favorite websites. While bookmarking the websites or marking the websites as favorite enable you to keep track of things, but it probably requires a lot of manual interpretation in the process. You have to regularly visit the website and check for the updated content, all by yourself. How good it would have been if there had been someone to monitor the updates and inform you about the same. Well, the answer to the woes is RSS.

What is RSS?

RSS is the technology used for syndication of content, where web syndication refers to making web feeds (full or summarized content) available from a website in order to provide other people with a summary or update of the website’s recently added content. In simple words, RSS is a mechanism for broadcasting updates of the website. It relieves you from periodically visiting your bookmarked websites. It in fact brings the goodness of the world (of your interest) to your doors.

When you subscribe to the RSS feed, you get notified every time the content of your favorite websites is updated, either in form of headlines or as new aggregation. Check for the updates in news aggregator and pick the most interesting story to get started with. All the content remains stored in the content-bank (we will come to it later) and you can refer the articles when required.

Subscribing To RSS Feed

Subscribing to RSS feed is fairly simple. You can use either of the following ways to subscribe to RSS feeds:

  1. On Site RSS Subscription: Most of the websites provide the option for RSS subscription. Just click on the RSS subscription button and on the subscriptions page select the most feasible subscription option. You can either choose the efficacy of live bookmarks or can simply subscribe using MyYahoo! or Google. I personally prefer using live bookmarks. Live bookmarks bring the benefit of bookmarking the RSS feeds, where you can browse through the latest content of the websites in form of headlines. Here you can click the headlines of your interest and the browser will direct you to the relevant web-page.
  2. RSS Subscription Through Browser: The other way for subscribing to RSS feed is through the browser. For the websites that offer RSS feeds, you will observe RSS icon residing in the right corner of the address bar. Click on the icon to get started with RSS subscription. The browser will route you to the subscriptions page, where you can select the subscription options.
  3. Subscription Through RSS Feed Readers: RSS feed reader is a repository or the content-bank which constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content. The feed readers provide the option for adding the subscriptions. Provide the URL of your favorite websites and track the latest updates realtime.

Once you have subscribed to the RSS feed, next step is to simply refer to the feeds to get the updates. In the next section we will talk about how to use RSS for simplifying the task of keeping yourself updated on the latest content.

How To Use RSS

While live bookmarking is an efficient way of getting started with RSS feeds, you’d probably need an RSS feed reader for reading the content buffered in the RSS feed. Google Reader is an excellent and free to use web based feed reader to start with. Google Reader functions like a mail application, where a repository of the latest blog entries and fresh content of the subscribed websites is maintained. Unread entries are marked bold and when you click on the entries, it opens the article in the reader itself. The other options to give a try are Feed Demon, RSS Owl, NetNewsWire or Bloglines Reader. All these feed readers offer exclusive features, each making the task of tracking your favorite websites easier.

To really understand how the feed readers work and how efficient is the RSS technology, start with subscribing a few websites. Click here to subscribe to our RSS feed and start getting the latest articles on trending topics in web design niche.

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