RSS Feeds

RSS feed What is RSS?

RSS is used to provide items containing short descriptions of web content together with a link to the full version of the content. This information is delivered as an XML file called RSS feed, RSS stream, or RSS channel. An orange rectangle with the letters RSS (RSS feed icon) or more recently, an orange square, with a dot and 2 arcs in white (RSS feed icon) is often used as a link to a site’s RSS feed. RSS feed is a rather technical name. From a functional point of view it is better to talk about web feed.

A program known as a feed reader or aggregator can check RSS-enabled webpages on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. RSS saves users from having to repeatedly visit favorite websites to check for new content or be notified of updates via email. It is now very common to find RSS feeds on most major web sites, as well as many smaller ones.

Feed Readers or News aggregators are typically constructed as extensions to a web browser, as extensions to an email program, or as standalone programs. Firefox has a feedreader build into the browser.

I use an extension to Microsoft Outlook called RSS Popper to view the feeds that I check. I used to use a program called ListGarden to create my feeds, but many they are from my blogs these days. I use Feed Digest to publish my feeds onto my website. I use the Feedburner service for subscription to my feed.

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