What is RSS

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Do you know what exactly is RSS and how it actually works? This article tells you all.

I have been blogging for a couple of years and I noticed that RSS has been mentioned almost everywhere on blogs and article pages. But I do not know what is it all about. However, I had a rough idea on what it is. RSS is like a feed for readers and that is all about what I knew.

I then began to study about RSS and find out more about on the Internet. After learning much about RSS, I deploy it on my blogs and the result is good in term of traffic generating. But it took me awhile to learn what exactly is it and how to use it on my  blogs.

In this article, I am attempting to share what I know about RSS in the simpler terms for easy understanding.

1. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. A web feed form used to send updated or newly post content like video, articles and news feed. That is how news feeds are able to reach its reader in the first instance. Yes, with the help of RSS.

2. How reader read RSS feeds is by using a 'RSS Reader'. Because of its unique code structure which differs from the usual webpages, only RSS reader are able to display these feeds. RSS readers are able to filter information for the reader and let them choose what kind of information they would like to receive. But there are types of reader - Desktop readers and RSS aggregators. Some examples of desktop readers are FeedDemon and Active Web Reader. Some examples of RSS aggregators are Bloglines and Newsgator. The primary difference between desktop readers and RSS aggregators is the latter are web based and can be accessed with any computer without installing any software. Of course there are also Mobile RSS is specifically designed for mobile phones or smartphone users.

3. An RSS document is known as web feed, feed or sometimes channel. It contains the summarized text of the article and the information like publishing date/time and by whom. It also syndiate content on an automated basis.

4. Readers can choose to subscribe to their favored blogs or also to aggregate web feeds from various sites into one location, for example Newsgator.

5. XML is the standard format that allows the feeds to be published once and for many websites or programs to display to the readers.

6. All readers have to do is to click on the standardized RSS Icon to subscribe for feeds from the blogs or websites. An example of the icon as follows: 

7. When it is possible to subscribe RSS feed from a webpage, it is also possible for reader to unsubscribe the RSS feeds.

8. RSS formats have evolved over the years since March 1999. But RSS has only became popular between the year 2005 and 2006. I believed the widespread was attributed by the increased interest on blogging by netizens. That was when RSS became really essentials for both publishers and readers.

9. According to many resource pages about RSS, the Icon was made a standard by many web browsers.

10. In order to publish RSS feeds, you need to burn your blogs or webpage. Once burn, your RSS will be available in XML formats for readers and aggregators to pick up. One popular way to burn feed is by using Google FeedBurner.

11. It is possible to make money leveraging on RSS. Increase traffic with RSS Feeds by placing advertisement banners on your feeds. One popular choice for doing that would be Google Adsense.

12. RSS increases web reading effeciencies. It does not requires reader to wait for browser to load and reading stuffs that had been read before. Readers are also to cope with information overload by selecting the information they want by scanning through the summarized text from the list of updates. This made RSS really comprehensive for web readers.

It all make sense now as to why RSS is so widely used.

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sarva k
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Posted on Apr 1, 2014

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