Today, I’m going to discuss RSS aka Really Simple Syndication, what it is and how it works. I will be doing my best to keep the language easy to understand. Please leave a comment and let me know if you find this interesting or useful.
1. What is it?
What is that orange icon? It’s a link to the sites RSS feed. RSS stands for many versions of the same thing:
- Rich Site Summary
- RDF Site Summary
- Real-time Simple Syndication or, more commonly
- Really Simple Syndication
Basically, it’s the feed of information that is produced by a website whenever they post something new.
2. OK, but why use it?
Let’s say you have 12 different news websites you like to check. That’s a lot of time spent searching each site for new articles on the subjects you’re interested. RSS allows you to have that feed come to you rather than you searching for it, saving you time!
3. How does it work?
RSS works by having the website author maintain a list of notifications on their website in a standard way. This list of notifications is called an RSS feed. People who are interested in finding out the latest headlines or changes can check this list. Programs called RSS aggregators have been developed that automatically access the RSS feeds of websites you care about on your behalf and organize the results for you. (RSS feeds and aggregators are also sometimes called RSS Channels and RSS Readers.)