What does RSS stand for - RSS ExplainedWhat does RSS stand for?
RSS Explained, RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication also known as Rich Site Summery.
An RSS feed will stream information directly to your RSS reader.
This information will include site updates from your favorite web sites informing you of new pages,
weekly/monthly news letters, news articles on subjects that interest you and much more.
Web sites are slowly taking this new technology on board as it increases in popularity amongst their viewers.
What is an RSS feed
An RSS feed is a data stream you can subscribe to using an RSS Reader - also known as RSS aggregate. This is a form of syndication thats delivers relevant information directly to your RSS reader.
Rather than go back and check your favorite sites regularly for updates these updates will be sent straight to your reader allowing you to check many sites at a quick glance for any new relevant information that may interest you.
If a site has an RSS feed available they will normally show an image similar to the ones below. XML is the language used for RSS feeds, so sometimes you will come across sites offering an XML feed, this is the same as an RSS feed just a different name. You can subscribe to a feed, or unsubscribe with a click of a button, giving you ultimate control over your feeds.
What is an online RSS readerRSS readers come in all shapes and sizes, and can be called a lot of things, for example RSS reader, feed aggregator, feed reader, or news reader. No matter what they are called they all serve the same purpose.
They are designed to decipher the XML coded feeds and allow you to look at all the feeds you have subscribed to from various web sites and also check for new information that has been updated since your last visit.
Some computer companies include them as part of their software packages when you purchase a new computer, and some browsers now come with plugins so you can read your subscribed RSS feeds directly from your browser.
There are many RSS readers, or web based readers, available for free download on the internet. You can have a clean, simple-to-use reader like the image below, or have one that is simply extravagant.
Not everyone needs dancing hula girls and Elvis playing while keeping up to date with their RSS feeds! It really comes down to personal choice, just find the RSS reader that most suits you.
How to use RSS feedsTo receive updates from sites with RSS/XML feeds you will need a reader, You may already have one built into your software package or browser, in this case just click on the icon for the feed.
If you do not have a reader you will most likely see a page full of code and will have to download either a stand alone type, or a plug in for your browser. Google, Yahoo, and MSN all have web based readers for their account holders, if you do not hold an account just do a quick search and you will find that there are many options available.
Subscribing to RSS feeds is as easy as one click of the mouse. If you decide to subscribe, look for one of the RSS feed buttons on the web site. Normally after pressing it will ask you whether you would like to add this feed. Choose yes, and you can receive regular updates on new content from all your favorite web sites.
Some sites may have a link to their feeds, simply right click your mouse on that link then copy and paste the URL directly into your RSS reader.
A brief History of RSS
RSS or Really Simple Syndication is not new, various companies have been trying to develop a format to achieve it since the mid 1990s but with limited success. It finally made it into the mainstream in 2003 when Dave Winers, who had been working on various versions for 6 years, released the official RSS 2.0 specification.
Even so, there is still no official web standard versions. There are 4 main versions in use today.
Version RSS 0.91 was developed by Netscape in 1999 and accounts for approximately 50% of todays RSS feeds. They have since ceased all research and development into RSS feeds.
A group lead by Rael Dornfest at O'Reilly Media developed version RSS 1.0 in 2000, this accounts for about 25% of all RSS feeds.
Versions RSS 2.0 and version RSS 0.9x account for the remaining 25% of feeds online. Although we seem to have a format war on our hands, most RSS readers will deal with all the available versions. All that is left for you to do is start subscribing to the RSS feeds available and get the information you are looking for delivered directly to your reader!
What does RSS stand for? Really Simple Syndication
I hope this has helped you better understand what RSS stands for, and when this guy asks you if your are subscribed to his RSS feed you will be able to reply with confidence!
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