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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 Mon. October / 14 / 2019

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

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

Are reviews by travel bloggers trustable? [Travel] - Africanews English
Are reviews by travel bloggers trustable? [Travel]  Africanews English

G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Affirms Russia Attacked Election, and Urges Action - The New York Times
G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Affirms Russia Attacked Election, and Urges Action  The New York Times

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

What Is an RSS Feed? (+Examples and Instructions for Getting Started) - G2
What Is an RSS Feed? (+Examples and Instructions for Getting Started)  G2

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

NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source - WP Tavern
NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source  WP Tavern

Track RSS Feeds (Yes RSS) with Feedly – ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Track RSS Feeds (Yes RSS) with Feedly – ProfHacker - Blogs  The Chronicle of Higher Education

WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers? - ThomasNet News
WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers?  ThomasNet News

Mohan Bhagwat, 6 Other RSS Functionaries Join Twitter - Outlook India
Mohan Bhagwat, 6 Other RSS Functionaries Join Twitter  Outlook India

Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu - Times of India
Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu  Times of India

'Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leadership' - Times of India
'Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leadership'  Times of India

Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - Times of India
Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  Times of India

Increase Your Business Visibility with These 4 LinkedIn Tools - Business 2 Community
Increase Your Business Visibility with These 4 LinkedIn Tools  Business 2 Community

My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing - Boing Boing
My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing  Boing Boing

Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview - Economic Times
Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview  Economic Times

Kibbles 'n' Bits 2/6/19: I have seen the Snappening and it is an RSS feed - Comics Beat
Kibbles 'n' Bits 2/6/19: I have seen the Snappening and it is an RSS feed  Comics Beat

A checklist: 5 steps toward better blogging | 2019-08-31 - grbj.com
A checklist: 5 steps toward better blogging | 2019-08-31  grbj.com

Growing Your Blog Using Email Marketing - Business 2 Community
Growing Your Blog Using Email Marketing  Business 2 Community

The 10 Most Important SEO Strategies For Your WordPress Blog in 2019 - Forbes
The 10 Most Important SEO Strategies For Your WordPress Blog in 2019  Forbes

Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

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

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging - Ars Technica
“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging  Ars Technica

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them - Business 2 Community
RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

When Chidambaram was home minister and Narendra Modi & Amit Shah faced probes - Times of India
When Chidambaram was home minister and Narendra Modi & Amit Shah faced probes  Times of India

Australian and British bloggers held in Iran named - BBC News
Australian and British bloggers held in Iran named  BBC News

Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots - Boing Boing
Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots  Boing Boing

9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts - Search Engine Journal
9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts  Search Engine Journal

How to Get the Most Out of Discord - Gamasutra
How to Get the Most Out of Discord  Gamasutra

Rohit Sharma: The art of scoring runs with laziness and effortlessness - Times of India
Rohit Sharma: The art of scoring runs with laziness and effortlessness  Times of India

Akshay Kumar's string of successes invokes the dominant national mood of post-2014 India - Times of India
Akshay Kumar's string of successes invokes the dominant national mood of post-2014 India  Times of India

A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed - Business 2 Community
A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed  Business 2 Community

Bob Whitaker's Blog - NASA Historian considers Kerbal Space Program - Gamasutra
Bob Whitaker's Blog - NASA Historian considers Kerbal Space Program  Gamasutra

Joris Dormans's Blog - Unexplored 2 Dev Blog: Tiles to Curves - Gamasutra
Joris Dormans's Blog - Unexplored 2 Dev Blog: Tiles to Curves  Gamasutra

What matters more in academia: scholarship, or untrammelled fealty? The curious case of 're-evaluating' Romila Thapar - Times of India
What matters more in academia: scholarship, or untrammelled fealty? The curious case of 're-evaluating' Romila Thapar  Times of India

Josh Bycer's Blog - How Onboarding Should be Applied to Tutorials - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - How Onboarding Should be Applied to Tutorials  Gamasutra

Iuliana U's Blog - Crowdfunding Without A Graphic Designer - Gamasutra
Iuliana U's Blog - Crowdfunding Without A Graphic Designer  Gamasutra

NetEase drives mobile games business in Japan while Tencent builds presence in emerging markets - Gamasutra
NetEase drives mobile games business in Japan while Tencent builds presence in emerging markets  Gamasutra

Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap - Gamasutra
Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap  Gamasutra

'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing - EurekAlert
'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing  EurekAlert

Is Rahul Gandhi on the same page as Imran Khan? - Times of India
Is Rahul Gandhi on the same page as Imran Khan?  Times of India

Happy 14th Blogiversary To Ann Althouse! - Outside The Beltway - Mobile Edition
Happy 14th Blogiversary To Ann Althouse!  Outside The Beltway - Mobile Edition

Why trifurcation of J&K is essential - Times of India
Why trifurcation of J&K is essential  Times of India

Admiring the Game Design in Hyper-Casual Games - Gamasutra
Admiring the Game Design in Hyper-Casual Games  Gamasutra

How Rahul Gandhi exposed himself to criticism in the last 3 days - Times of India
How Rahul Gandhi exposed himself to criticism in the last 3 days  Times of India

Why Narendra Modi govt could scrap Article 370 - Times of India
Why Narendra Modi govt could scrap Article 370  Times of India

Svyatoslav Cherkasov's Blog - Porting Graveyard Keeper to consoles and mobiles - Gamasutra
Svyatoslav Cherkasov's Blog - Porting Graveyard Keeper to consoles and mobiles  Gamasutra

Claire Sh's Blog - I don't hate social media... - Gamasutra
Claire Sh's Blog - I don't hate social media...  Gamasutra

Uncommon Blogging Tactics Are Highly Effective, New Study Shows - Search Engine Journal
Uncommon Blogging Tactics Are Highly Effective, New Study Shows  Search Engine Journal

Accept or not, Chandrayaan-2 has proved the existence of God again - Times of India
Accept or not, Chandrayaan-2 has proved the existence of God again  Times of India

Pippin Barr's Blog - What Would Mavis Beacon Do? Punish You. - Gamasutra
Pippin Barr's Blog - What Would Mavis Beacon Do? Punish You.  Gamasutra

Ahmed Khalifa's Blog - Level Design Patterns in 2D Games - Gamasutra
Ahmed Khalifa's Blog - Level Design Patterns in 2D Games  Gamasutra

Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message - The New York Times
Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message  The New York Times

Mateusz Piaskiewicz's Blog - Level Design Principles - Familiarity - Gamasutra
Mateusz Piaskiewicz's Blog - Level Design Principles - Familiarity  Gamasutra

The Kargil variant - Times of India
The Kargil variant  Times of India

How to become a science blogger – your 4-step guide - Nanowerk
How to become a science blogger – your 4-step guide  Nanowerk

Louis McTague's Blog - The Importance of Definitions in Game Design - Gamasutra
Louis McTague's Blog - The Importance of Definitions in Game Design  Gamasutra

Next step: A West Bank in Kashmir? - Times of India
Next step: A West Bank in Kashmir?  Times of India

How to Make a Casual Mobile Game: Uprising - Project Structure - Gamasutra
How to Make a Casual Mobile Game: Uprising - Project Structure  Gamasutra

Modi's Guruvayur doctrine divides nation on geographical & religious grounds - Times of India
Modi's Guruvayur doctrine divides nation on geographical & religious grounds  Times of India

What will Amit Shah do next? - Times of India
What will Amit Shah do next?  Times of India

Stanislav Costiuc's Blog - Bloodborne: What Defines Responsive Controls - Gamasutra
Stanislav Costiuc's Blog - Bloodborne: What Defines Responsive Controls  Gamasutra

Start RSS Feeding Content Today With dlvr.it to Social Media [How-To] - Rocks Digital
Start RSS Feeding Content Today With dlvr.it to Social Media [How-To]  Rocks Digital

Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements - Science 2.0
Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements  Science 2.0

Brandon Sheffield's Blog - Dreamcast 20th anniversary interview extravaganza - Gamasutra
Brandon Sheffield's Blog - Dreamcast 20th anniversary interview extravaganza  Gamasutra

Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Create A Perfect Localization Kit - Gamasutra
Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Create A Perfect Localization Kit  Gamasutra

5 Social Media Blogs That You Need To Know About In 2019 - Forbes
5 Social Media Blogs That You Need To Know About In 2019  Forbes

Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Write A Kickass Game Description - Gamasutra
Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Write A Kickass Game Description  Gamasutra

Consoles are resilient for now, but cloud gaming will create new dynamics and competition - Gamasutra
Consoles are resilient for now, but cloud gaming will create new dynamics and competition  Gamasutra

Will poaching legislators help or harm BJP? - Times of India
Will poaching legislators help or harm BJP?  Times of India

Welcome to Starts With A Bang! - ScienceBlogs
Welcome to Starts With A Bang!  ScienceBlogs

Chris Zukowski's Blog - The best slides I saw at GDC 2019 - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - The best slides I saw at GDC 2019  Gamasutra

97-year-old Seattle blogger shares honest view on aging - KING5.com
97-year-old Seattle blogger shares honest view on aging  KING5.com

On surviving Yahoo Pipes, Feedburner futures, and the subscription web - Diginomica
On surviving Yahoo Pipes, Feedburner futures, and the subscription web  Diginomica

Tips & Tricks to manage Open Game Development - Gamasutra
Tips & Tricks to manage Open Game Development  Gamasutra

Max Pears's Blog - Shape Theory in Level Design - Gamasutra
Max Pears's Blog - Shape Theory in Level Design  Gamasutra

Those tiny drops that make our rainbow - Times of India
Those tiny drops that make our rainbow  Times of India

BJP plays the long game: Reclaiming the 'Idea of India' for the next century - Times of India
BJP plays the long game: Reclaiming the 'Idea of India' for the next century  Times of India

The age of Hinduness: Modi has disavowed hard Hindutva for the humanism of 'Hinduness' - Times of India
The age of Hinduness: Modi has disavowed hard Hindutva for the humanism of 'Hinduness'  Times of India

As Article 370 goes down, so does the opposition? - Times of India
As Article 370 goes down, so does the opposition?  Times of India

Best blogging platforms of 2019 - TechRadar
Best blogging platforms of 2019  TechRadar

An enigma called Rahul Gandhi - Times of India
An enigma called Rahul Gandhi  Times of India

Platform for nuclear threats: Is anti-India prejudice hardwired into The New York Times' DNA? - Times of India
Platform for nuclear threats: Is anti-India prejudice hardwired into The New York Times' DNA?  Times of India

Ryan Ward's Blog - Guessing the Future with Patents - Gamasutra
Ryan Ward's Blog - Guessing the Future with Patents  Gamasutra

What Happens When Game Artists Design a Mural - Gamasutra
What Happens When Game Artists Design a Mural  Gamasutra

How single leaders will define the 2019 election: They could be decisive in battles for more than a third of the Lok Sabha seats - Times of India
How single leaders will define the 2019 election: They could be decisive in battles for more than a third of the Lok Sabha seats  Times of India

2 women show us the power of personal choice - Times of India
2 women show us the power of personal choice  Times of India

Meet some of Charleston's most popular bloggers and social media influencers - Charleston Post Courier
Meet some of Charleston's most popular bloggers and social media influencers  Charleston Post Courier

More Than 50,000 NSFW Tumblr Blogs Were Archived by the Partiko Team This Week - PRNewswire
More Than 50,000 NSFW Tumblr Blogs Were Archived by the Partiko Team This Week  PRNewswire

Words as weapons of violence- none can beat the seculars - Times of India
Words as weapons of violence- none can beat the seculars  Times of India

Like NRC, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is flawed in conception. Proceed with caution - Times of India
Like NRC, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is flawed in conception. Proceed with caution  Times of India

Await the Ayodhya verdict: Why orchestrated attempt to pre-empt the judicial verdict subverts the rule of law - Times of India
Await the Ayodhya verdict: Why orchestrated attempt to pre-empt the judicial verdict subverts the rule of law  Times of India

Vasburg E''s Blog - Don't Browse ArtStation Too Much - Gamasutra
Vasburg E''s Blog - Don't Browse ArtStation Too Much  Gamasutra

FAQ on a bill (S1629) proposing The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act - Gamasutra
FAQ on a bill (S1629) proposing The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act  Gamasutra

A climate of fear: It helps autocracy – but those who disagree should persist past our cowardice - Times of India
A climate of fear: It helps autocracy – but those who disagree should persist past our cowardice  Times of India

Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense - GigaOM
Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense  GigaOM

Breath of the Wild Open World Analysis: Gravity to go Forward - Gamasutra
Breath of the Wild Open World Analysis: Gravity to go Forward  Gamasutra

Changes to Google Play's average ratings: what to expect and how to prepare - Gamasutra
Changes to Google Play's average ratings: what to expect and how to prepare  Gamasutra

Imran Khan's toxic tweet-tan-trums - Times of India
Imran Khan's toxic tweet-tan-trums  Times of India

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