What is RSS?

what is RSS?

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a format designed for sharing web content such as headlines. An RSS feed highlights fresh material for you, so you don't have to repeatedly check a site yourself for updates.

How do I use RSS?

To make use of RSS, you'll need an RSS reader, or aggregator. An RSS aggregator can be a stand-alone application, or a plug-in for another program you already use, such as Microsoft Outlook. Some web browsers, such as Firefox and Safari RSS, have RSS readers built in. There are also online aggregators, websites such as My Yahoo or Bloglines that allow you to customize them by adding RSS feeds. Find a downloadable RSS aggregator.

How do RSS feeds work?
RSS feeds really couldn't be simpler. They're basically simple text files that, once submitted to feed directories, will allow subscribers to see content within a very short time after it's updated (sometimes as short as 30 minutes or less; it's getting faster all the time).

This content can be aggregated to be viewed even more easily by using a feed reader. I've written up an article on the best feed readers out there. A feed reader, or feed aggregator, is just a really simple way to view all your feeds at one time via one interface.

For instance, I have a Bloglines feed. I have all sorts of good stuff in there. Can you imagine how much time it saves me to have all these topics sent to me in one place rather than me searching it out?

In addition, all these people who have their sites syndicated on my Bloglines roll are enabling their content to be seen by me and other people who wouldn't necessarily find them in the search engines or directories. RSS feeds are a wonderful resource, and the uses for RSS are only just beginning to be realized; not only for search engines and searching, but in how we optimize our sites.

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