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RSSWhat does RSS do?

RSS allows you be notified when a web site has been updated.

How does RSS help me know when a web site has been updated?

A growing number of web sites are adding an RSS “feed” to their site. Most of the time, you’ll find the feed(s) by looking for a little button or link that says “XML”, “RSS”, or “Syndicate this site”.

When you see the button or link- gradeessaywriter you’ve found the feed for that site. An RSS “feed” is the website’s way of alerting subscribers that the website has been updated. It feeds subscribers the latest updates that have occurred on the web site.

How do I use RSS? What do I need to “subscribe”?

When you find an RSS feed for a site you like, you will subscribe to the feed in order to be notified. You *must* have a tool that can read these RSS feeds- they swallow what the site is “feeding”.

These tools are often referred to as “News Aggregators“, “RSS Readers” or “News Readers“. There are an abundance of tools out there. I use NewsGator (www.newsgator.com), because it works inside MS Outlook. Bloglines (www.bloglines.com) is web-based and very popular too. List of them here: LockerGnome’s RSS Resource

How do I subscribe to an RSS feed?

First- you need an aggregator as described above. Then, the single thing you’ll need is the URL (link) for the site’s RSS feed.

Usually, you can click the little “XML” or “RSS” button and it will display a bunch of code- don’t worry about the code. What you need is the web site address that appears when you click the XML button.

It usually looks like: http://www.sitename.com/index.rdf or
http://www.sitename.com/index.xml . Once you have that address, you add it to your aggregator and you’re all set as a subscriber. Aggregators make the subscription process easier in varied ways.

Why would I need RSS? What is the advantage?

Remember- the big deal is it allows you be notified when a web site has been updated. Normally, you would have to proactively visit the site or subscribe to get email as updates occur. RSS alerts you without email. RSS prevents you from having to be proactive. You just subscribe and watch the notifications roll into your news aggregator. Also, RSS is unspammable because you control your
subscriptions- the site owner never has your contact info.

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