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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

RSS, how can it help me?


I admit it... For the longest time, I ignored RSS and what it was all about or what it could do!

I know, some of you may say, "wow, your a technology guy and you didn't use this?"

Well in the past I only briefly looked at RSS and understood that it could deliver some content. For me, I was used to going to each site I liked and manually seeing what was new.

Recently in my studies of how to blog, I was turned on to the power of RSS for the blogger and for the subscriber (reader.) It's definitely worth looking into.

Ok, so you may ask (like I did), if its really simple then how come it doesn't really jump out at me about what it could do?

After doing a little research I found, the most common definition is RSS is "Really Simple Syndication."

RSS describes formats used to publish content that is frequently updated such as blogs, news feeds or even podcasts. An RSS document, which is also commonly referred to as a "feed," "web feed," or "channel," contains either a summary of content being published or the full text from a source web site.

What it does is reverse the typical process.

• Instead of you going out to see what's new
• Your favorite web site provides you with an update that something has been added or has changed


So, an RSS feed makes it possible for you to keep up with your favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking each of them manually. If you find something in your reader that you want to investigate in further, clicking the link will take you directly to the web site that published it.

So how can you get started?

RSS content can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader" or an "aggregator". You would subscribe (much like subscribing to a magazine, but much better, there's no cost) to a feed by entering the feed's link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon on your browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader software then checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds.

The easiest software to get started with it "Google Reader."

If your still a little fuzzy on this concept I found a great video you can watch that will make it easier to understand called “RSS in Plain English.”


www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english

So logon to Google Reader and get started today! You can even add my RSS feed for Gresak.com or Techideout.com.

Let me know what you think?

5 comments:

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