What is RSS ?
In its simplest form it indicates that you can obtain updates and new articles without specifically visiting the web site each time – this is known as subscribing. The term RSS has stuck and there is a little indecision as to what it actually stands for but the typical explanation is "Really Simple Syndication".
A feed is a file much like a text file that contains the core of the information from web site articles typically including date, time, headings, and portions of (or complete) articles. Feeds are becoming common and popular ways of getting information from feed enabled web sites – and best of all subscription is usually free!
To access this feed you need a feed reader program and there are plenty to choose from both online and offline including:
- Later versions of Outlook
- Directly through a browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox)
- Google Reader
- Email – using a site specific email subscription service
Some subscription services allow you to specify whether to receive updates as they happen or opt for daily and weekly summaries instead. Some feeds contain snippets of information linking back to fuller versions whilst others contain the complete article. If you no longer wish to receive updates from a particular feed you simply delete it from your feed list.
RSS and Atom describe different ways in which the file containing the information is organised. Often this is contained in something called an XML file (which is a text file that uses simple tags for organisation).
This definition has been bought to you by: Jason Slater Weblog