RSS Feeds (Really Simple Syndication = RSS)
You might have seen the RSS feed logo on large websites such as the BBC's and assumed that this was something only for the largest sites, but that is not the case.
Any website can have a RSS feed.
The big idea behind an RSS feed
Once you have discovered a website and read the content which interests you this is a way of learning when new content has been added to that site.
The RSS feed allows subscribers to a website's feed to discover when a site has been updated, via a title and summary being picked up by the RSS Feed Reader.
What do I need to make this work?
You must have a RSS Feed Reader, there are a number of options - this is a link to a free RSS reader which you can download and install. If you are unsure how to proceed speak to your IT department. It is quite possible that your computer has a Feed Reader already installed which you are not using.
Once you have your RSS Feed Reader installed, you simply find websites which you are interested in and subscribe to the feeds.
To subscribe to a RSS Feed is usually free of charge. When you subscribe you do not have to provide any information, anonymity may be of interest to some, you do not have to worry about an avalanche of spam descending on your Inbox because the person supplying the feed does not know that you have subscribed or your email address.
What does the webmaster have to do?
How it works in practice.
- The webmaster updates the website with new content.
- Then creates a headline in the RSS feed file
- A text summary with a link to the content on the website.
When a subscribers fires up their machines or refreshes their Reader the Feed Reader detects new content and up pops a window with the new headlines in.
If you are interested you can view the summary. If the summary sounds like you need to dig deeper you can click through to the content to read the full item.
Sounds too good to be true!
Well it is true. RSS was invented many before 2000 but was slow to be taken up. If the thought of being told several times a day that the world econonmy is in a meltdown phase, in between regular news bulletins is likely to make you feel anxious and depressed you may wish to choose the feeds you subscribe to very carefully.
Advantages of RSS Feeds
For those in charge of spreading communication the RSS feed is a fabulous tool.
From the users perspective it is a great benefit because it reduces spam from your Inbox and keeps you firmly in control of your time and what you want to read. It is easy to go back to content in an RSS Feed.
Once you have tried a RSS feed it becomes one of the tools on your desktop in the same way as many people have Google as their home page.
If you have anymore questions or concerns why not try Googling those or alternatively please do contact Website-Doctor.
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