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RSS, Feeds, and Aggregators


When you work online all the time, immersed in bits and bytes, hands automatically resting on the keyboard, where the lingua franca is a mish-mash of acronyms and abbreviations - it is easy to forget that the average person has no clue what we talk about. It can be very daunting for the Internet neophyte with all these terms, technology and hardware. That's why I wrote this. Because I don't want people to be afraid to either ask (via comments on this thread) or to click/use buttons they don't know or use.

Way back when I started blogging (6-7 months ago!), I was a complete n00b in these blogging terms too. Now while I'm not exactly the lead programmer at RSS central I do know a thing or two, but when I really think about it I'm only just paddling at the moment so maybe I can help others get into the paddling pool too!

RSS

Really Simple Syndication, let's break it down into the real basics. It is essentially a broken down look at the web page/site, stripping all the presentation and layout, and removing all the neat graphics and cool toys that generally clutter webpages. What's left is an RSS file (in XML format).

Surprisingly out of 1,000 blog readers (who are themselves a small elite minority among Internet users) 66% have not even heard of RSS and 23% said they understood but did not use it. Where do you stand?

Feeds

This is just a another way of writing what RSS can do. Feeds are a blog's (or site's) method of syndicating content, arranged concisely in an XML format and, as mentioned above, stripped of any extraneous presentation. The "feed" comes from aggregators requesting that RSS file to display as content for their subscribers (feeding their need for your well-written articles!).

Aggregators

It's a straightforward description for what it is: it aggregates RSS feeds from whatever source you tell it. These are also sometimes called "newsreaders" although this term is falling out of favor.

There are two types: software and web-based. Software has a following - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_news_aggregators#Desktop_news_aggregators, but web-based is beginning to draw more of the usage. Rapidly expanding online aggregators such as http://www.bloglines.com/, or http://my.yahoo.com/ are leading the way. With blog traffic up 31 percent since the beginning of the year, readers will need a way to sort through the blogosphere, and aggregators are that way.

The main advantage of aggregators is that they allow you to gather all your feeds in one place, and read them without having to navigate all over the place.

Adding Your Feed

You will have noticed button labeled RSS, often times they are orange rectangles (they are also labeled XML). That is the feed button - clicking it will show a lot of XML code. Note the URI, copy it. Then go to your aggregator, software or web-based, and paste that URI as the feed address and save. That will allow the aggregator to know where to fetch the feed and it will do it automatically from that point on.

What's The Advantage?

A big advantage to RSS is that you, the subscriber, is in control. Let's say you go to xyz.com and look for an article on Blogging software. You find it, but there are advertising banners, fly-ins, pop-ups, and then just as annoying you have to click three or four times to go to the "next page" with yet more of the same. With a feed (and appropriate aggregator) you get just the article (content) without all of the extra stuff.

The Future of RSS

So what is in store for us with RSS? I don't have a crystal ball but some things are plain to see. The future of RSS is bright and yet at the same time likely to be mired in specification wars, mainly due to Microsoft's insistence that they rename RSS to 'web feeds' for the upcoming IE7 release. You can read more about this hotly debated subject at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/76104/microsoft-defends-rss-rebranding.html and at http://www.microsoftmonitor.com/archives/009849.html

There is no doubt though that RSS is here to stay. It has become an integral part of the blogosphere, a method of aggregating large amounts of content from hundreds of blogs into one place. From a blogger's point of view RSS is essential to building and keeping an audience. Wary of clicking on subscriptions, Internet users finally have a way to grab your content (updated every day, right?) when they want it. For the blogger they now have a way to syndicate their articles, sharing them among other sites who publish those articles. Those who syndicate get content, and the blogger gets exposure.

Richard Dows is a web designer living in Florida, working on small businesses, blogs, site design, and more. You can find him working on his own blog at http://www.thex.com/rd/ or writing and participating in others like http://www.balancednewsblog.com/ and http://www.thex.com/webstandards/


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Sun. September / 27 / 2020

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Content Marketing Autoblogging Platform Keyword Filtering Technology Launched - Newswire
Content Marketing Autoblogging Platform Keyword Filtering Technology Launched  Newswire

What Happened to Tagging? - JSTOR Daily
What Happened to Tagging?  JSTOR Daily

RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism - Times of India
RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism  Times of India

Automated RSS Feed Content Generation Set-And-Forget Marketing Tool Launched - Newswire
Automated RSS Feed Content Generation Set-And-Forget Marketing Tool Launched  Newswire

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1  Times of India

The Rise and Demise of RSS - Motherboard
The Rise and Demise of RSS  Motherboard

Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs - PRNewswire
Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs  PRNewswire

Happy 25th year, blogging. You’ve grown up, but social media is still having a brawl - The Guardian
Happy 25th year, blogging. You’ve grown up, but social media is still having a brawl  The Guardian

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1  Times of India

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2  Times of India

Blogging from the beach: The freshman 15 - HME News
Blogging from the beach: The freshman 15  HME News

A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

The Road to Ruinarch : Wishlist Gathering and Expectations - Gamasutra
The Road to Ruinarch : Wishlist Gathering and Expectations  Gamasutra

Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance - Times of India
Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance  Times of India

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 3 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 3  Times of India

Member manager sought for YALSA's blog, The Hub - ala.org
Member manager sought for YALSA's blog, The Hub  ala.org

eBay Kills Affiliate Tool that Drives Traffic to Seller Listings - EcommerceBytes
eBay Kills Affiliate Tool that Drives Traffic to Seller Listings  EcommerceBytes

Webster blogger refuses to let COVID-19 muffle her voice - Democrat & Chronicle
Webster blogger refuses to let COVID-19 muffle her voice  Democrat & Chronicle

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 4 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 4  Times of India

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

Why is weird stuff popular on social media? - The Times of India Blog
Why is weird stuff popular on social media?  The Times of India Blog

The blogger who hit back against a hammer-wielding Russian ‘assassin’ - BBC News
The blogger who hit back against a hammer-wielding Russian ‘assassin’  BBC News

3-Step Blog Strategy That Works: Storytelling, USPs & Sales - Search Engine Journal
3-Step Blog Strategy That Works: Storytelling, USPs & Sales  Search Engine Journal

As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current - ZDNet
As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current  ZDNet

Blogging Assistant PD Accused of Revealing Secrets of Little-Disguised Clients - ABA Journal
Blogging Assistant PD Accused of Revealing Secrets of Little-Disguised Clients  ABA Journal

What Hindutva trolls can learn from Gandhi - The Times of India Blog
What Hindutva trolls can learn from Gandhi  The Times of India Blog

Blogs - LexBlog
Blogs  LexBlog

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations  Gamasutra

Building temples unlikely to pay poll dividends - The Times of India Blog
Building temples unlikely to pay poll dividends  The Times of India Blog

Josh Bycer's Blog - Lessons Learned From Reviewing Indie Games - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - Lessons Learned From Reviewing Indie Games  Gamasutra

‘Saare jahan se achha’ is a better economic mantra - The Times of India Blog
‘Saare jahan se achha’ is a better economic mantra  The Times of India Blog

Catholic bishop suspends priest and issues trespass order over blog about clergy sex abuse - Washington Post
Catholic bishop suspends priest and issues trespass order over blog about clergy sex abuse  Washington Post

Neurocracy: Using Wikipedia as an Interactive Narrative Device - Gamasutra
Neurocracy: Using Wikipedia as an Interactive Narrative Device  Gamasutra

Michigan design bloggers dole out ideas, inspiration - The Detroit News
Michigan design bloggers dole out ideas, inspiration  The Detroit News

The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century - Times of India
The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century  Times of India

NEP 2020 – A quick glance on key changes at school and college level - The Times of India Blog
NEP 2020 – A quick glance on key changes at school and college level  The Times of India Blog

Ghost blogging platform servers hacked and infected with crypto-miner - ZDNet
Ghost blogging platform servers hacked and infected with crypto-miner  ZDNet

Why Modi must not repeat Nehru’s mistakes on China - The Times of India Blog
Why Modi must not repeat Nehru’s mistakes on China  The Times of India Blog

Tales From Discoverabilityland: A Story Of Three Graphs - Gamasutra
Tales From Discoverabilityland: A Story Of Three Graphs  Gamasutra

The two ‘big boys’ in Modi’s cabinet - The Times of India Blog
The two ‘big boys’ in Modi’s cabinet  The Times of India Blog

How Blogger Ken Prendergast Became a Must-Read Scoop Machine on the Cleveland Development Beat - Cleveland Scene
How Blogger Ken Prendergast Became a Must-Read Scoop Machine on the Cleveland Development Beat  Cleveland Scene

Game Devs, The World Needs You Right Now - Gamasutra
Game Devs, The World Needs You Right Now  Gamasutra

2019 Saveur Blog Award Winners - Saveur
2019 Saveur Blog Award Winners  Saveur

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Congress and post-truth politics  Times of India

Victoria Tran's Blog - Finding, Choosing, and Managing Moderators - Gamasutra
Victoria Tran's Blog - Finding, Choosing, and Managing Moderators  Gamasutra

Is Prashant Bhushan wrong? - The Times of India Blog
Is Prashant Bhushan wrong?  The Times of India Blog

Marin judge tosses criminal case over divorce blog - Marin Independent Journal
Marin judge tosses criminal case over divorce blog  Marin Independent Journal

Byrd's New Nest | Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot Mcknight - ChristianityToday.com
Byrd's New Nest | Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot Mcknight  ChristianityToday.com

Students Unite Through Blogging and Instagram – The Colgate Maroon-News - The Colgate Maroon-News
Students Unite Through Blogging and Instagram – The Colgate Maroon-News  The Colgate Maroon-News

‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’ - Times of India
‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’  Times of India

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Highlights of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020 - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Highlights of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020  Gamasutra

Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles - USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)
Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles  USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

Your Old Blog Content Is a Goldmine - CMSWire
Your Old Blog Content Is a Goldmine  CMSWire

Crystin Cox's Blog - Understanding LiveOps, Doing LiveOps - Gamasutra
Crystin Cox's Blog - Understanding LiveOps, Doing LiveOps  Gamasutra

The saga of lockdown: India has shown extraordinary solidarity, forbearance and leadership skills - Times of India
The saga of lockdown: India has shown extraordinary solidarity, forbearance and leadership skills  Times of India

Matt Smith's Blog - The Rapid Prototyping Game - Gamasutra
Matt Smith's Blog - The Rapid Prototyping Game  Gamasutra

Why Maria Wirth is Wrong - Times of India
Why Maria Wirth is Wrong  Times of India

Fabian Fischer's Blog - Reward Fatigue - Gamasutra
Fabian Fischer's Blog - Reward Fatigue  Gamasutra

Stop the Left turn. Cong needs to woo the middle class back - The Times of India Blog
Stop the Left turn. Cong needs to woo the middle class back  The Times of India Blog

Simon Carless's Blog - Steam's wishlist conversions - how hot are yours? - Gamasutra
Simon Carless's Blog - Steam's wishlist conversions - how hot are yours?  Gamasutra

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How the Bodo Accord was accomplished, establishing a wider template for peace in the Northeast  Times of India

#Blog4Good - LexBlog
#Blog4Good  LexBlog

Andrew Haining's Blog - Outer Wilds critical analysis - Gamasutra
Andrew Haining's Blog - Outer Wilds critical analysis  Gamasutra

The curious case of Animal Crossing in China | Opinion - Gamasutra
The curious case of Animal Crossing in China | Opinion  Gamasutra

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Condemn the Tablighi Jamaat event, without having to resort to any whataboutery  Times of India

What is RSS? And Is It Still Important? - Small Business Trends
What is RSS? And Is It Still Important?  Small Business Trends

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Siddhartha Talya Blog  The Times of India Blog

Riddle for the Middle - Times of India
Riddle for the Middle  Times of India

Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

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Use Blog Commenting to Boost Your Marketing For Knowledge Commerce  Business 2 Community

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Shutdowns kill people and biz, ease them fast  Times of India

This R-Day, let’s focus on India’s cultural greatness rather than military muscle - Times of India
This R-Day, let’s focus on India’s cultural greatness rather than military muscle  Times of India

China is deeply mistaken but we too require a relook - Times of India
China is deeply mistaken but we too require a relook  Times of India

Best legal blogs of 2018 - ABA Journal
Best legal blogs of 2018  ABA Journal

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RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

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Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019  Gamasutra

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When Nehru put the ‘Constitution in danger’  Times of India

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Ex-eBay workers accused of sending live spiders, cockroaches to blogging couple writing about lawsuit  ABA Journal

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#DalitLivesMatter: Why we don’t care about this hashtag  The Times of India Blog

Sebastian Long's Blog - Should Players Buy Their Own UI? - Gamasutra
Sebastian Long's Blog - Should Players Buy Their Own UI?  Gamasutra

Impact of Coronavirus Epidemic to China's Game Industry - Gamasutra
Impact of Coronavirus Epidemic to China's Game Industry  Gamasutra

The Last Root of Unity - Scientific American
The Last Root of Unity  Scientific American

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How did Fall Guys get it so right?  Gamasutra

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How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis  The Washington Post

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Level Design Breakdown: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Trailer  Gamasutra

Blogging Assistant PD Gets 60-Day Suspension for Posts on Little-Disguised Clients - ABA Journal
Blogging Assistant PD Gets 60-Day Suspension for Posts on Little-Disguised Clients  ABA Journal

Are Food 'Influencers' Wearing Out Their Usefulness In India? - HuffPost India
Are Food 'Influencers' Wearing Out Their Usefulness In India?  HuffPost India

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Bend it like Baba: Look who’s really flexible, Sima aunty  The Times of India Blog

Ryan Sumo's Blog - Project Management in the Time of Covid-19 - Gamasutra
Ryan Sumo's Blog - Project Management in the Time of Covid-19  Gamasutra

Vinod Ravishankar's Blog - Game development and programming - Gamasutra
Vinod Ravishankar's Blog - Game development and programming  Gamasutra

Don’t defer to China: Galwan valley should finally compel us to make major course correction - The Times of India Blog
Don’t defer to China: Galwan valley should finally compel us to make major course correction  The Times of India Blog

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Beyond India, Aamir has let down thousands slaughtered by Turkey’s Islamo-fascist regime  The Times of India Blog

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Close encounters of the carona kind  Times of India

Houston personalities: Meet the Houston mom behind a popular parenting blog - KPRC Click2Houston
Houston personalities: Meet the Houston mom behind a popular parenting blog  KPRC Click2Houston

‘Over 90% of India’s heritage lies buried and space archaeology can help unearth it … using satellites a - Times of India
‘Over 90% of India’s heritage lies buried and space archaeology can help unearth it … using satellites a  Times of India

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Why has Sushant’s tragedy become a frenzied social media circus?  Times of India

Bengal’s Amphan tragedy needs more national and global attention - Times of India
Bengal’s Amphan tragedy needs more national and global attention  Times of India

Adapt to enable the new normal: Work from home - Times of India
Adapt to enable the new normal: Work from home  Times of India

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