What is RSS?
The Internet today contains
a wealth of information. Avid Internet users visit many
interesting websites and read many articles. Information
and web pages make their way in to the favorite folder
for later viewing. Over the course of time, re-visiting
these bookmarks becomes a major task for users especially
as the number of bookmarks grows. A better technique
for users is to automatically receive information about
updates to their favorite websites.
Many websites have recognized
this problem and have started providing information
in a common format. RSS is a web content syndication
format. It is a lightweight XML format designed for
syndicating (distributing) information. Although RSS
was initially conceived as a format for syndicating
news, anything that can be broken down into discrete
items can be syndicated via RSS.
Many websites publish
content, which they would like to share with others.
RSS provides a way for websites to distribute their
content outside of a web browser. RSS is an easy way
to keep you automatically up to date on websites you
visit regularly. RSS files do not have a common file
extension, although they frequently end in .XML, .RSS,
or .RDF (note that other extensions may also be used).
How to Read RSS
Internet users can employ
special software, like newsreaders and RSS-aggregators,
to organize RSS feeds and get automatic updates. Products
like Active Web Reader
allow you to read RSS files. Such types of programs
go beyond simply reading. They also organize RSS feeds,
manage updates, monitor website changes and search for
information online. They can keep you automatically
updated on the latest changes by checking RSS feeds
and displaying items from them.
RSS aggregators are
set up to check for updates periodically from the feeds
to which you subscribe, usually once every day. In other
words, the information comes to you, rather than you
having to go to the websites yourself. This saves a
tremendous amount of time. In addition, you can read
many more feeds in the same amount of time. Many people
read several hundred feeds. That just would not be feasible
without an RSS aggregator. Additionally, you avoid all
the non-new information on a web page, including the
ads, menus, etc.
to find RSS feeds for a website?
Go to the website whose
RSS feed you are looking for. If it has one, then it
probably includes a link to it. Try looking on the page’s
menu (usually left side or right side) and the footer.
Most often websites advertise RSS feeds with small icons.
The most common is an XML icon like this
but there are a number of variations of labels (RSS,
RSS2, XML, RDF, Atom), color, and size, such as
Other times, there may not be an image, but text with
one of those labels, or a link labeled “Syndicate
Active Web Reader also
provides a way to find RSS feeds automatically while
browsing web pages through a feature called RSS Auto
Discovery. The software provides a direct method to
select discovered feeds and organize them. Active Web
Reader also provides a way to find RSS feeds automatically
while browsing web pages through a feature called RSS
Auto Discovery. The software provides a direct method
to select discovered feeds and organize them.