You may have seen or heard the term “rss feed” thrown around but not fully understand what it is and what it can do for you. Hopefully this article will shed some light on the subject.
What do the initials RSS stand for?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Pretty much, it’s a fancy way of saying “feed”. It’s sort of like saying that you are going to send someone an smtp instead of using the more common name which is “e-mail”.
What is a feed?
A feed is a format for data that provides people like you the ability to subscribe and get all of your information in one central place. Using feeds, you can subscribe to all of your favorite blogs and news sites so that you no longer have to go to every site every day to see what is new. If anything is new, it just shows up in your feed reader.
Imagine how much time you would save if instead of going to thirty sites twice a day, you just went to one site and got all the same information.
What is a feed reader?
A feed reader is the centralized place where you direct all of your feeds to go. There are many different readers available online but I use and suggest Google Reader because of its simplicity and features.
How do I subscribe to a feed?
There are a few ways to subscribe to a feed. I’ll give you the easiest ones;
1. Look on the site that you would like to subscribe to, for a little orange box that looks like kind of like the orange box on the left hand side of this site attached to the blue “subscribe to our feed” banner. Click on the box and it should give you a choice of which reader to send it to. If you are using Google Reader, click on Google.
2. If you choose to use Google Reader there is a “subscribe” button on the home page in a section called “tips and tricks” that you can click and drag up to your tool bar at the top of the screen. Then whenever you are on a page that you would like to subscribe to, all you have to do is click the “subscribe” button.
Am I already using RSS without knowing it?
Probably. Anyone who is using Facebook, Linkedin or one of many other popular sites is using an rss feed. Each user sends out a feed of what they are doing, what their status is and anything else that they do on the site. You will notice at the top of your Facebook “Home”, there is a title called “News Feeds”. Your feed sends all of your contacts what you are up to and your feed reader sends you what everyone else is up to. Facebook just keeps everything on their own site.
If you liked this article, set up your own rss reader and subscribe to this feed to get all of Flid Media’s blog articles. You can also subscribe by email by entering your email address in the form on the left.