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Changing Website with RSS

Published 08/24/11

RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication – a Web content syndication format. RSS is a dialect of XML and all RSS files must conform to the XML 1.0. To explain in simple terms, RSS makes use of an XML code that continually scans the content of a website for updates and then broadcasts those updates to all subscribers through a feed. Updates include a headline followed by a small portion of text, which is a synopsis or the basic crux of a larger story. You will need to click a link to read more.

A long time ago, most newspaper editors realized that if they could incorporate articles and stories from other newspapers into their paper, they could enlarge their readership as they could cover lot more information than what is brought by their own reporters. This is the manner in which syndication came to work in print. As all of us are aware, online is a much larger canvas and there are millions of authors writing about millions of topics online each day. As this is a prodigious affair. It can be very difficult to keep track without some type of automated system. And that is exactly where RSS comes in. Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an easy way for Web sites to share headlines and stories from other sites. Web surfers can use news readers to surf these headlines using RSS aggregators. RSS was originally invented by Netscape, when they were getting into the portal business. They wanted an XML format as that would be easy to get the news stories and information from other sites and automatically add them to their own site. They then dropped it when they decided to go out of the portal business.

RSS feeds are generally used with news sites or blogs but any website can use them to distribute information. To facilitate receiving RSS feeds, you must have an aggregator, a feed reader. There are a number of aggregators online available and most of them are free. You should therefore be able to easily find an interface that appeals to you. Apart from being available on your computer, RSS feeds can also be read on PDAs and cell phones. Most sites that offer an RSS feed have an “RSS” or “XML” button on their homepage that you can click and it will instantly add that feed to your aggregator. You may otherwise have to copy and paste the URL of the feed into the program. Whichever method, the feed will be available as soon as add it, and your next update could arrive in seconds. If you ever decide that you do not want to receive updates anymore, all you have to do is to simply delete the feed or URL from your aggregator.

The benefit of RSS is the accumulation of content from multiple web sources at one place. RSS content can be read using a RSS reader, feed reader or an aggregator which can be either web-based or desktop-based. There are people who already receive information on website updates through e-mail newsletter. But RSS feeds are a better option to newsletter updates because they are instantaneous. RSS feeds are used daily by people who enjoy the access to up-to-the-minute news and reports. They can also save time by selecting and reading only those updates that interest them.

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