RSS - Simple Explanation | My Home Biz Journal

Thursday, March 27, 2008

RSS - Simple Explanation


RSS is one of those terms that is both clear and fuzzy in a lot of people's understanding. The term has been thrown around for so many times that no one would admit not knowing it. In reality, how RSS is used remains a puzzle to a lot of people. Today, I aim to provide all you need to know about RSS.

RSS is abbreviation for three formats:

1. Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
2. RDF Site Summary (RSS 1.0 and RSS 0.90)
3. Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91)

These formats represent a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content including, but not limited to, blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts. An RSS document (which is called a "feed" or "web feed" or "channel") contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays. (Source: Wikkipedia)

RSS content can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader" or an "aggregator". The user subscribes to a feed by entering the feed's link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds. (Source: Wikkipedia)

For the average user, RSS can provide tremendous convenience in aggregating the newest information on the user's favourite sites so that the user doesn't have to go check each one by himself.

Although the average user can have the updates sent ot his email inbox, it is a lot less hassle if he just signs up with Google Reader for an account to read RSS feeds. That way, all the RSS feeds the user has subscribed to will come into this one location where he can go and get the most up-to-date information in the least amount of time.

Still not sure what RSS is? Check out this short video here. It is really one of the best visual explanations of RSS I have found.

Ying Hong

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