If you've been wondering what those little orange "XML/RSS" buttons are that have been popping up on web sites... Well... you're not alone!
Here is what they're all about...
* "Really Simple Syndication" or "Really Simple
Subscription"... It just depends on if you are the publisher of the information or the consumer of the information.
"Syndication" in this use means the redistribution of material by a publisher to many outlets. So for a publisher who is looking at getting his material out by RSS it's... "Really Simple Syndication."
But what RSS means to you... Someone who wants information RSS stands for... "Really Simple Subscribing." Just like you subscribe to a newspaper and it comes to you from a paper carrier... you can "subscribe" to a web site's RSS feed.
The beauty of an RSS or web feed is that you can keep up-to-date on web sites that have RSS without having to go to the web site itself and try to figure out if there is new stuff!
It is the format that information from different Web sites comes to you. Think of it as though you are getting "fed" the information that you specifically want from the Web. One of the beauties of RSS is that you are the one that decides what information comes to you and when. It's not like most social media sites where you are inundated with a lot of news that you may not want!
Web feeds/RSS feeds are programmed using a computer "language" called "XML" which stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It's similar to a web page, which is programmed using "HTML" (HyperText Markup Language). Your RSS Feed Reader (see below) will use the website's XML file to gather the newest information from that website and bring it to you whenever you want it!
* When you see this little icon on a web page that means the site offers a web feed. This icon also indicates that there is a web feed available for you to subscribe to.
Well, first you need a program that can "read" the XML file that contains the feed.
There are two ways you can do this:
If you want to download and use your feed reader on your computer (which I prefer), try these free readers (but a course there are a ton more on the web that you can download if you don't like these):
Once you've got a reader set up, you can start subscribing to web feeds from sites that offer them. You subscribe by...
And that's it! You're subscribed...!!!
If you use any of the readers listed above... All you have to do is click on the button for the reader you use and you'll be instantly subscribed to that site's feed!
Web feeds have some advantages compared to receiving frequently published content via email:
(Source: Wikipedia) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed)
You now have a cool new time-saving tool...!
Have fun with it...