What is RSS Feed?

RSS or Rich Site Summary was originally called RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. It uses standard web feed formats to publish information that is frequently updated, including news headlines, blog entries, video and audio. An RSS feed document is also called a web feed, channel or simply feed contains full summarized text and metadata. If you want to know what is RSS feed, continue reading this article.

What is RSS feed?

An RSS feed allows publishers to syndicate data automatically. This way you can easily distribute update notices, a list of headlines and even content to a large number of people. Users can also benefit form RSS feeds if they want to aggregate data from many sites, or receive updated from their favorites. If they subscribe to a to a website, manually checking it is no longer necessary, because their browser constantly monitors the site and sends notifications of updates. Moreover, the browser can automatically download the new data, if the function is enabled. Users can subscribe to feeds by entering its URL into the RSS reader or by clicking the feed icon.

What problems does it solve?

RSS feed is a better way to be notified about changed or new content. Many people who don’t know what is RSS feed keep track of several websites the old fashioned way, and this can be difficult when the content changes on an uncertain schedule, as it does for news sites, medical websites, community and religious information pages, weblogs and product information pages. Having to check these pages over and over again can become annoying and tiring. An early solution was email notification, but receiving many disorganized emails is overwhelming and some of them are mistaken for spam. RSS feeds makes handling multiple websites easy, saving you time and ensuring your privacy, due to the fact that there is no need to join each site’s newsletter. Today, many websites offer RSS feeds, including Yahoo News, and their number is rapidly growing.

RSS Feed Readers and News Aggregators

News aggregators or feed readers software allows users to gather RSS feed from numerous websites and displays them for read and use. There are many RSS readers available for each platform. For example, Amphetadesk works on Mac, Windows and Linux, NewsGator can integrate Outlook and FeedReader is only for Windows. There are also web-based feed readers available, including Google Reader, My Yahoo and Bloglines. After you choose a RSS feed reader, you just have to find sites that syndicate content and add them to the list of feeds. The information is made up of a list of items arranged chronologically. Each item has a title, a description and a link to the web page. Sometimes the description is just a summary, while other times it is the full information you want to read.

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