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      Net World Directory: What is an RSS feed?
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What is an RSS feed?


RSS XML file formats are used for distributing news headlines on the Web (web syndication) used by news websites and weblogs (blogs). RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication or RDF Site Summary.

You probably surf the net every day and visit a variety of your favorite sites. You access these websites on a daily basis to learn about news updates, and read new articles and contents. By your conventional surfing method you have to get to your favorite sites from a bookmark, or by remembering the website url. Once you reach the site, you don't know if any news item or article has been posted since your last visit. In order to find this out you have to search through a set of pages which may contain a number of articles and topics in which you are probably not interested. After searching through all these pages you may find out that no new articles or news items were posted since your last visit to that site. You come back to the same site at a later time to see if a new article is posted this time. Now imagine a way by which by the click of your mouse button you get a list of all the updates with heading and a short description that has occurred in your favorite website since your last visit. Better still would be to have the ability to go directly to the updated page of your interest by clicking on the updated notice link. Also imagine that you are getting this update list not from one of your favorite sites, but from all your favorite websites. Just imagine how much time and effort you could save by having this convenience of updated information delivered to your desktop. Now stop imagining, it is really possible to do it with today's technology and that is RSS. RSS feed is an xml format based web page that allows the syndication (distributing news headlines) of lists of hyperlinks, along with a short description and other relevant information, or metadata that helps viewers decide whether they want to follow the link and view the contents.

An RSS reader or RSS aggregator read the information from the RSS feeds that you have specified and present it on your computer in a systematic list like format. All the new additions to the site of your interested will be visible and you decide which page to go and read the article. In other words all the new information on your favorite website can be tracked, organized and personalized. An RSS feed is just like any other web page or web file on the server. An RSS feed may also be called a channel. A regular web page may be written in variety of available formats including html, htm, asp, php, pl, cgi and more. An RSS feed is generally written in xml format. Once a website set up an RSS feed or channel your RSS reader can regularly fetch the xml file your computer and analyze it to obtain the most recent information on the website. RSS reader manages many lists from a number of websites with RSS feeds that you have specified and presents them in a single list like interface.

RSS readers or aggregators are used to get the updated information from RSS feeds. There are several RSS readers available, a number of of them are free to download and use. RSS readers may have several special features, including combining several related feeds into a single view, changing icons to denote the user had already seen a particular item, list item views and categorizing feeds and items.

What are the advantages of RSS feed?

  1. You have to complete control over what you want to see and will have the ability to remove unwanted information
  2. You do not have to supply your email address to subscribe to this RSS feed
  3. You get real-time notification of any addition to this page
  4. Unlike email news letters, you don't have to worry about email viruses


RSS readers or RSS aggregators
RSS readers or aggregators are used to get the updated information from RSS feeds. There are several RSS readers available, a number of of them are free to download and use. RSS readers may have several special features, including combining several related feeds into a single view, changing icons to denote the user had already seen a particular item, list item views and categorizing feeds and items. You can find a list of some of the usually used RSS readers at various websites.

RSS feed has the ability to be republished. Other websites may re-publish RSS feeds and displaying the title and description of websites that supply the RSS feed. Hence same RSS feed may be available from variety of sites.

How to get started on RSS feed ?
  1. First of all you nedd an RSS reader, this is a software that will actually bring the contents from the RSS feed. You can download a free reader from a number of sites. You can find a list of some of the usually used RSS readers at http://blogspace.com/rss/readers.
  2. Once you have the reader you can start subscribing to RSS feeds from various sites. Whenever you see an image saying RSS Feed or RSS, XML buttons you can add the RSS feed in to your reader.
  3. The reader will have instructions to teach you how to subscribe to an RSS feed. Most likely you may have to click this orange button which will take your to the xml page. You may have to copy the url of the xml page and give it to your RSS reade, in order to subscribe to the RSS feed.
  4. Your RSS reader will regularly check the RSS feed site to see if they've changed. It will then display the new information and content summaries and allow you to click through to read complete articles.

RSS feeds available at our site

 

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