A really simple guide to really simple syndication (RSS)

  • March 23, 2015

RSS

The Internet is a big place. Really big. With more than a billion existing pages and thousands more being created each day, there’s a wealth of great sites offering fantastic content free of charge. But with such a massive torrent of media being produced each and every day, it can often be tough to keep up with all your favorite websites. So, how do we alleviate this problem? Easy. Here’s a really simple explanation of Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

What is RSS?

RSS is all about simplifying the way we view and digest content on the Internet. Web pages are typically multimedia experiences, with multiple columns of images, text, and advertisements. An RSS feed of a page strips the information down to the bare essentials — usually the main text content, main images, or in the case of podcasts and video channels, the content itself.
Related: Need a new podcast? Here’s 100 of our favorites
By reducing the desired content down to just what you really want, you can enjoy it on a larger number of platforms without worrying about compatibility or display issues. It also allows you to keep track of when new content is posted without requiring you to refresh the blog or podcast page every 10 minutes until something new appears.

How does RSS work?

Rather than paying upwards of 100 bucks for a DVR like TiVo, you can start using RSS for free — all you need is a valid Internet connection and a program called an RSS aggregator.

An RSS aggregator, also known as feed reader, is a program that runs in the background and constantly waits for your favorite sites to post new content. When something new pops up on a site you’re subscribed to, it instantaneously gets sent to your feed reader.

Typically, aggregators come in two varieties; they can be Web-based or desktop-based. There are also a number of programs and add-ons that provide RSS functionality to email clients and Web browsers. Once you’ve installed a feed reader, you can get started.

How do I use RSS?

There are hundreds of aggregators out there, with all kinds of different interfaces and useful features, so finding one you like is just a matter of experimentation. Google shut down its coveted Reader service in July 2013, but thankfully, a number of new software options have come about since then that are more than capable of handling your subscriptions. The most popular of these options is Feedly given its ease-of-use, robust compatibility, and the mere fact that many sites feature an embedded shortcut button for utilizing it.

Freedly

Once you’ve installed an aggregator, aka a feed reader, you can start subscribing to your favorite sites. Generally, you’ll know if a site supports RSS subscriptions if it features an orange icon with a set of white lines running through it, similar to the image at right (rss). You’ll be hard pressed to find a site that doesn’t support RSS these days, though, considering most sites offer an RSS button directly alongside buttons you click for Facebook and Twitter updaes.
The aforementioned Feedly is Web-based, so it’s easy to simply point your smartphone, tablet, or computer to the site before logging in with your Google or Twitter account. The developers also offer an iOS, Android, and Kindle app, along with a number of desktop apps that work with its API, so you can browse from anywhere without having to worry about juggling multiple feeds.

For power users

RSS can be used for more than just combing news, music, and videos. Sites like Craigslist and eBay support RSS subscriptions to specific categories of services and items. Looking for a fridge, a welding job, or a three-bedroom apartment? Just type in your search terms and scroll to the bottom of the page. At the bottom right, there should be a button that allows you to subscribe to that list of classified ads, allowing you to set up notifications designed to alert you when any new posts are published within a specific category.

In summary, RSS is a fantastic way to organize and consume the Web with increased efficiency and ease. If you do most of your reading on the Web, a sturdy RSS reader is a must-have. Also, be sure to check out Digital Trend’s RSS feeds for some of the best content on the Web!

This article was updated on March 16, 2015, to reflect new and updated RSS-related software and technology — most notably, the unforseen closure of Google Reader.
The post A really simple guide to really simple syndication (RSS) originally published on digitaltrends.com: http://www.digitaltrends.com/how-to/how-to-use-rss/

5 Reasons Your Business Should Not Advertise on Google AdWords

I’m a huge proponent of advertising on Google AdWords – indeed, my entire business career has been dedicated to helping companies grow through search engine marketing (SEM). As much as…
Continue reading

Garlic And Ginger – The Most Powerful Combination Against Viruses And Colds

The simplest, and proven, way to strengthen your organism is by using strong spices which speed the metabolism and stimulate the immune system’s work. Both garlic and ginger are very…
Continue reading

Top 5 Foods and Supplements to Delay Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s is one of the major medical problems of our time. This illness causes millions of people confusion, fear and a life lacking of quality, not to mention their families…
Continue reading

Can Yacon Syrup Really Help You Lose Weight? An Objective Look

A sweet-tasting syrup that can help you lose weight? Seems almost too good to be true… But this is exactly what they’re saying about Yacon syrup, which recently became popular…
Continue reading

4 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good For Your Health

Quitting refined sugar can be tough. But given how incredibly harmful sugar can be, it is definitely worth the effort. Luckily, there are quite a few sweeteners found in nature…
Continue reading

The 20 Most Weight Loss Friendly Foods on The Planet

Not all calories are created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body. They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn. Here…
Continue reading
3 Cups of Coffee a Day

This Is What 3 Cups Of Coffee A Day Do To Your Liver

The latest research has shown that drinking your favorite morning beverage, coffee, is good for the liver. In fact it has been proven that people who daily drank large quantities…
Continue reading

What Are The Health Benefits And Use Of Sage Herb?

Sage (Salvia Officinalis) is a herb native to the Mediterranean, belonging to the Lamiaceae (the mint) family along with other herbs, such as oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil. Sage has one…
Continue reading

CEO & founder of CNet Marketing, and is also the founder of a very successful international web hosting company "www.BabilooHost.com" has 14 years of experience in web services industry, a Leading Fully Managed Email Maketing Solutions "www.inteliMails.com" and Online Marketing Agency "www.CNetMarketing.com".

About us

We are dedicated people aiming to deliver important and valuable information and posts gathered from many sources around the web.