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Thursday, May 01, 2008
 

What Is RSS?


Anyone who reads blogs or news sites will have by now have seen this icon , but not everyone is aware of what it does. It means that the page you are reading has an RSS feed. So just what is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a convenient way to bookmark websites that has content updated regularly, such as blogs or news sites.

For example you will notice that this site has a feed option at the top of the page.

Subscribe in a Reader

When you click the text or icon you are taken to the feed page which shows the latest content, and you are given the option to subscribe to the page. You can unsubscribe at any time, and you can check for updates as often or as little as you like.

RSS is a great way to bookmark sites because you are alerted whenever there is new content. You can follow hundreds of websites, and only have to check sites that have been updated.

How to use RSS

Whenever you see this icon , it means that the page you are reading has an RSS feed. Sometimes you will see this icon XML or even this icon XML. Don't worry, they all do the same thing, though has become the accepted icon for RSS feeds.

There are different types of readers that you can use to subscribe to feeds.

- Online Readers -

There are plenty of online feedreaders out there, including Google Reader, My Yahoo and Bloglines.

Online readers are good if you are on the road without your computer and you still want to be able access your favourites. You also have the option of sharing your favourites for public viewing, like here: bloglines.com/public/itravelnet.


- Desktop Readers -

Desktop readers were popular before feedreaders became built into web browsers. A popular desktop download is FeedDemon.

- Browser Reader -

If you are using a browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, feedreaders are now built into the browser. If you are using an older version of IE or Firefox then you will need to download an updated version.

The browser will automatically detect if the page you are viewing has a feed and will show the Feed Icon icon.

Start Reading

So, now that you are versed in the ways of RSS, it's time to start subscribing to feeds. You can start by subscribing to this site .

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