RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is a format for delivering updated web content. It is used by web users to keep track of their favorite websites.
The old not so simple ways
In the not-so-distant past, keeping track of your favorite websites or blogs was done in a few ways:
- Memorize the URL of the blog and from time to time enter the URL into the address bar to go to the blog.
- Bookmark the blog, and from time to time click on it to go to the blog.
You see, both methods above requires you to do them manually. I mean you have to get up and do it yourself (well, you do it sitting down actually hehe), so there will be problems:
- You will miss the update if you forget to visit the blog.
- You waste time when you do visit but the blog is not updated yet.
- You got headaches because to many blogs to keep track of.
Hey, is there an easier way to do this, like automatically? Well good news, there is another way, a new and simpler way.
The new really simple way
It is called RSS. RSS delivers/feeds your favorite blog updates to you, automatically. No delay, no time wasted. It’s similar to getting your newspaper delivered to you every morning.
How do I get started with RSS?
You need to do two things:
- Get a RSS feed reader. Yes you need a reader to view the RSS feed. The more popular ones are Google Reader, Bloglines and My Yahoo. They are web based and free. If you use opera browser it has a built in feed reader. If you use Firefox you can install a feed reader extension.
- Subscribe to RSS feeds. To subscribe, look for a RSS button or icon on the web page you want to subscribe . My previous post Adding RSS button to your blog shows how the button looks like. You click on the button, icon or the text next to it and proceed from there. If you use Firefox or Safari, the orange button will also appear inside the address bar. You can find the RSS button for Blogger Sentral on the top right corner of this page.
I hope you find this article is useful in helping you understand RSS. Enjoy!