TheTechTalker.com

A blog for technology, life, music, humor and much more

What is RSS ?

What is RSS? I have been frequently asked about this and thought its worth to write a post to
define RSS and hopefully shedding some light on the topic.

How wonderful would it be if you could keep up to date with the latest posts on T3c-n0-cr@t ?
You can use our RSS Feed to subscribe to this site and receive updates. But What is RSS?

What is RSS?
RSS is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites. Look up Wikipedia for its Official Definition .

In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added.

The problems with bookmarking
* You as the web surfer had to do all the work
* It can get complicated when you are trying to track many websites at once
* You miss information when you forget to check your bookmarks
* You end up seeing the same information over and over again on sites that don’t update very often

RSS Changes Everything
What if you could tell a website to let you know every time that they update? In a sense, this is what RSS does for you.

RSS flips things around a little and is a technology that provides you with a method of getting relevant and up to date information sent to you for you to read in your own time. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published.

RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to.

I find the ’subscription’ description helpful. It’s like subscribing to a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.

How to Use RSS
Get an RSS Reader – The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re getting into reading sites via RSS is to hook yourself up with an RSS Feed Reader.

There are many feed readers going around with a variety of approaches and features – however a good place to start is with a couple of free and easy to use web based ones like Google Reader and Bloglines. Either one will do if you’re starting out (I use Google’s Reader) – as I say there are many others to choose from but to get started either of these are fairly easy to use and will help you work out the basics of RSS.

Both of these feed readers work a little like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update and can read it right there in the feed reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item – marking the last one as ‘read’.

The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and give it a go. Both have helpful help sections to get you up and running. Some other options to track websites that you might already be familiar with include using pages like MyYahoo, MyGoogle and MyMSN.

Way to find Feed to Subscribe to –  there are 2 places to look for site’s feed:
1. In the Browser
2. On the Site Page

Browser Subscription
Many internet browsers now have the ability to find and subscribe to RSS feeds built right into them.
When you surf to a site you can usually tell if it has an RSS feed by looking in the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL.

Here’s how it looks for T3c-n0-cr@t when you’re using Firefox:

See the little orange icon on the right hand side? Click that and you’ll be locating to: T3c-n0-cr@t’s RSS Feed

On Site Subscription
Over the last few years you may have noticed a lot of little buttons and widgets appearing on your favorite sites and blogs. Little orange buttons, ‘counters’ with how many ‘readers a blog has, links called RSS, XML, ATOM and many more.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few you might have seen:

There are plenty more – but any time you see any of these buttons or anything like them it means that the site you are viewing almost certainly has a feed that you can subscribe to. In most cases it’s as simple as either copying and pasting the link associated with the button into your RSS Reader or clicking the button and following the instructions to subscribe using the feed reader of your choice.

Once you’ve done this and have subscribed to a few feeds you’ll begin to see unread items in your Feed Reader and you can start reading.

Further reading on RSS is available here:
What is RSS: A tutorial introduction to feeds and aggregators
HOW TO: Getting Started with RSS

YouTube: RSS in Plain English

Hopefully this answers your question of ‘What is RSS‘ !

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August 15, 2008 - Posted by | Blogging, Browser, Technology | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site.

    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now 😉

    Comment by Neopoints | February 15, 2013 | Reply


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