Quick tutorial on RSS and why you should be using RSS Readers

Sun, Feb 8, 2009

Geek Information

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What is RSS?

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a method to have web content that is changed regularly delivered right to you. These days, most news-related sites, weblogs (including LazyAutomation) and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.

Why (and how) you should be taking advantage of RSS

RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to stay on top of all the sites you are interested in by retrieving all their latest content. By aggregating all this content into one place, you save time by not needing to visit each site individually. There is no reason going to a website if there is nothing new published, right? Even better, the number of sites that offer RSS feeds has grown rapidly over the past few years and includes big names like MSN, Yahoo!, and FoxNews.

Great! How do I read these RSS Feeds? RSS Feed Readers and News Aggregators

In order to take advantage of RSS feeds, you need a feed reader or a news aggregator software which will allow you to grab the RSS feeds from various sites and display them for you to read and use.

Many RSS Readers are available for different platforms. These easiest reader that I recommend is Google Reader. It is an online service, requires no download, and is available from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. There are, however, many other services, both online and in the form of applications, that you can use to grab your content. Once you have your chosen your feed reader, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the list of feeds. To see if your site offers RSS, look for small icons located on the your favorite with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know they offer a feed.

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