RSS for dummies..

I mentioned in my last post i have a presentation on ‘blogging’ to do.. one of the sub-categories i’ll be talking about are RSS feeds and how they work/what value they are to us.. so to help me prepare for this presentation, plus help some of you guys out, i’ll try to give a brief introduction to RSS :mrgreen:

RSS is one of these three letter geeky terms that gets kicked about within the industry.. don’t be put off by all the terminology out there, it’s really very simple and i sometimes think abreviating terms can complicate /confuse things for newbies.. so if you don’t really know what RSS is or how it works, this article is for you.

It stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and in a nutshell, allows you to get updates from your favourite site/blog automatically through email or through your favourite RSS reader (basically a seperate, dedicated email account to store only RSS updates).

Most blogs have RSS feeds available… for example if you click the orange icon below or click this text, you’ll be able to sign up for my feed in a few easy steps 😎

If you read several blogs, quite often when you log on to your favourite site, the content won’t be new, you’ll have read it already.. so that is wasting your time as you don’t want to-read old content. You want fresh content.

Here’s where RSS technology comes in to play 😈 Every time i make a new post, you get emailed or receive an update through an RSS reader. So if you receive an update, you know i have new/fresh content. If you don’t receive an update, you’ll know i have no new content, so no point in visiting my site.

I suppose the easiest/least complicated way of using RSS technology is to sign up via email.. try it just to see how it works..

But most people don’t like getting emails on a regular basis into their main email account, so instead, we use a dedicated RSS reader like Google Reader.

You can add several RSS feeds from various sites if you wish, so that you can now receive new content from your favourite blogs all under the one roof so to speak.. so your RSS reader like google reader, all of a sudden becomes a mini site in itself, pulling news from your favourite sites.

Below is a screenshot from a google reader account i set up; it shows me all new blog posts from, so i never actually have to visit to read blog entries 😎 You can control/manage your different feeds and add as many as feeds from as many different sites as you like.

So that’s why a lot of people rarely visit domain names anymore. I myself like to visit the domain names purely out of habit.. but i have to admit, i’m using RSS more and more to keep tabs on all of my favourite blogs, purely because there are so many i like.. and it’s almost impossible to read/browse them all daily and keep up to date, so it’s great having all of them in the one place 😛 It also saves me time spent typing in the url, waiting on page to load, seeing if there’s new material since i last visited etc..

So rather than visit 20 blogs a day and wait/check for new content, RSS will do all of that for you on the one page. Clever, and it saves time and energy on your part, so it might be worth using if you visit several blogs daily..

Check out this video below which might help even further..


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