RSS: A "Really Simple Solution" For Sending And Receiving
Basics Copyright © 2004
"RSS" stands for Really Simple Syndication.
RSS is a standard for publishing regular updates to web-based content. Using
this standard, web publishers provide updates, such as the latest news headlines
or weblog postings.
Consumers use RSS reader applications, or one of a
growing number of online services to collect and monitor their favorite feeds
in one place. RSS content from a publisher, viewed in one of these readers,
is often called a "feed."
For consumers, RSS makes it possible to review a
large number of sites in a short amount of time.
For publishers, RSS
allows instant widespread distribution of content updates to
So, who publishes RSS feeds? Some of the biggest names on the
Internet now offer content using RSS feeds:
- ABC News
- Plus...many, many more!
thousands of weblog authors publish feeds to keep themselves better
connected to their readers. Weblogs, also known
as blogs, are a driving force behind a recent surge in interest
for RSS and syndicated
content. Many experts believe that in the very near future, the
number of top-tier sites not syndicating any content will be in the
you're interested in collecting and browsing feeds, you have a
multitude of choices. However there are two primary categories
of feed reading
applications: installable desktop programs and online services.
There are also many desktop
applications for Windows and Mac OS system users, but two of the
most popular ones are FeedDemon (Windows) and NetNewsWire (Mac
Both require a small purchase
price, but are at the head of the class for user-friendliness. They also come
pre-loaded with dozens of feeds, so you can start exploring the syndication
"universe" immediately. Free readers are also available. Just perform a search
for "RSS Reader," using your favorite search engine.
If you would prefer
to use an online service to track and manage your feeds, you have the advantage
of being able to access your feed updates anywhere you use a web browser, and in
some cases, on mobile equipment.
Also, any upgrades or new features are
added automatically. There are, however, disadvantages to going mobile, such as
different and fewer features, as well as slightly slower performance versus
desktop systems. NewsGator.com, Bloglines.com, and MyFeedster.com are probably
the three best-known examples of web-based feed reading services.
have a website or weblog, you can add RSS syndication as a publishing option, in
some cases automatically. How easily you can accomplish this depends entirely on
how your site is served today.
For instance, if you are using a hosted
publishing tool like Blogger.com, you may already be publishing a feed without
even realizing it. Check to see whether your provider's administration tools
offer feed-related options or controls. Other types of websites and application
platforms may require some programming skills in order to add RSS syndication
In the world of web syndication, multiple versions of RSS
and Atom are vying for widespread adoption. FeedBurner.com offers a feature
called SmartFeed that makes sure feed readers receive the version they're most
SmartFeed automatically handles the syndication format
details so that you can focus your energy on creating content.