RSS is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. RSS is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites.
In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added.
RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure your privacy, by not needing to join each site’s email newsletter.
The problems with bookmarking
- You as the web surfer had to do all the work
- It can get complicated when you are trying to track many websites at once
- You miss information when you forget to check your bookmarks
- You end up seeing the same information over and over again on sites that don’t update very often
RSS Changes Everything
What if you could tell a website to let you know every time that they update? In a sense, this is what RSS does for you.
RSS flips things around a little and is a technology that provides you with a method of getting relevant and up to date information sent to you for you to read in your own time. It saves you time and helps you to get the information you want quickly after it was published.
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to.
I find the ‘subscription’ description helpful. It’s like subscribing to a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of it coming in your physical mail box each month when the magazine is published it is delivered to your ‘RSS Reader’ every time your favorite website updates.
How to Use RSS
There are many feed readers going around with a variety of approaches and features –
Find Some Feeds to Subscribe to – there are two places to look for a site’s feed:
- On the Site
- In Your Browser
Many internet browsers now have the ability to find and subscribe to RSS feeds built right into them.
When you surf to a site you can usually tell if it has an RSS feed by looking in the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL.
Here’s how it looks for Hunor Networking when you’re using Firefox:
Using Safari Browser it is a Reader icon:
Other modern browsers will have similar icons.
To quickly and easily subscribe by clicking these icons you’ll want to set up your browser to do it with your feed reader of choice.
Once you’ve done this and have subscribed to a few feeds you’ll begin to see unread items in your Feed Reader and you can start reading.
Don’t want to Use an RSS Reader? Email is an Option
Many sites also enable you to subscribe to RSS feeds via a more familiar medium – Email (Mac Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook etc.) On the right hand sidebar there is a field where you can enter your email address and get a daily email with a summary of the latest posts.
At Hunor Networking, you can subscribe/unsubscribe at any time, most importantly your email will be kept private and not used for any other purposes than to send these daily updates.