What is RSS? RSS is a term used to for Real Simple Syndication. RSS is used for distribution of content on the Internet with an XML based format. This sounds rather geeky at first and maybe that’s why many bloggers and Internet users still shy away from RSS.
But you don’t have to be scared of RSS as it is simply a great way to keep track of your favorite websites by subscribing to their RSS feed.
Back in the old days we used to bookmark sites of value to us. Many people still do it this way which is fine. But having RSS feeds made available to us, it is so much easier to stay informed when our favorite bloggers update their sites.
RSS feeds can be read in many ways, offline on your desktop, online via a free feedreader, or with a paid for feed reader. The paid versions are just a little bit better in terms of giving us more styling and organizing options in the way we want to read our feeds.
For example we can arrange our feeds in folders according to their niche and much more.
What is in my eyes the very best feature of Feeds is the fact that I don’t have to visit each of my favorite blogs before I know whether they have updated their content. I can see this nice and easy without much effort by login into my feedreader.
Since I started using a feedreader I have virtually cut down the time I use in half to browse all my favorite blogs. Another great point is that once I grow tired with a particular blog, I simply unsubscribe with the click of my mouse.
How Does RSS Work?
Since RSS feeds are attached to images, text, video and podcasts and can also be used to inform us of changes in word docs and spreadsheets, they will inform us whenever changes are being made, or new stuff gets posted.
That is why sometimes your feedreader seems to double up on a post and show it to you twice. This happens when the blog owner makes changes to the original post. The feeds will pick this up and deliver it to you as if it was a brand new post.
This can at times be annoying, but I wouldn’t worry too much about this fact, since we can simply ignore it.
How Do I Use RSS?
To view RSS feeds, you need an RSS reader, also called an aggregator which will collect all the data for you.You can sign up to most sites feeds these days (especially blogs) by either visiting the little orange icon directly to the right of the browser URL. Alternatively and this is also the most often used option, you can click on the “not to be missed” huge feed icon which is mostly displayed in any blog to the top right.
For those who like to keep informed via email, they can too choose to stay on track with their favorite blogs by subscribing to their email feeds (most often done via Feedburner email subscription boxes)
Here is a list of the some popular feedreaders:
Google Reader is free to use and can be accessed easily through your browser. It is web based and allows you to do customizations. Use on any computer. Can be read from Mobile Phones.
Bloglines is another web based feed aggregator. It allows you to customize your RSS feeds into folders and can be read from any computer by login into your admin.
Rojo is an online based RSS reader that allows you to sign up for free and your read your favorite feeds from any computer.
Feed Ghost is client software that can be downloaded for free (with limitations of use) or the paid Pro version which costs $ 20/year. A very stylish web 2.0 based feedreader that works well with Windows Vista.
Omea Pro 2.2 is free and replaces tools like your Email Organizer, Desktop Search Utility, RSS Reader, Personal Information Manager, Newsgroup Reader, Task Manager, Contact Manager, Bookmark Manager, and Instant Message History Manager. It can also read your Files in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Acrobat, and view your Pictures, in one Integrated Information Environment.
Feed Demon is another client based software that is available for $ 29.95/year. A free trial download is available and Feed Demon is also highly customizable.
Naturally these examples are only a few from the multitude of available feedreaders on the market.
For an extensive list, you can also visit the Wikipedia Website.
And before I forget, if this article was helpful, then you can subscribe to my
RSS Feed to keep updated on new information.