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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 Tue. January / 28 / 2020

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

Debbie McMurtry Celebrates 10 Years on Staff for RSS Feeds Service Provider - StreetInsider.com
Debbie McMurtry Celebrates 10 Years on Staff for RSS Feeds Service Provider  StreetInsider.com

The Death of the Good Internet Was an Inside Job - The New Republic
The Death of the Good Internet Was an Inside Job  The New Republic

My views, my events: Zoho Chief Vembu asserts after tweet rage over RSS event - ETtech.com
My views, my events: Zoho Chief Vembu asserts after tweet rage over RSS event  ETtech.com

Understanding the Role of a Technical SEO Audit - Search Engine Journal
Understanding the Role of a Technical SEO Audit  Search Engine Journal

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

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

A Farewell to Feministing and the Heyday of Feminist Blogging - The New York Times
A Farewell to Feministing and the Heyday of Feminist Blogging  The New York Times

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

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

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

Attorney-Discipline Blogger Is Target of Defamation Suit - Law.com
Attorney-Discipline Blogger Is Target of Defamation Suit  Law.com

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

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

The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century - Economic Times
The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century  Economic Times

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

Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO? - Practical Ecommerce
Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO?  Practical Ecommerce

Sweat Equity: Still blogging away on LGBTQ topics, but it's not big money - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sweat Equity: Still blogging away on LGBTQ topics, but it's not big money  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How to Use Guest Blogging to Build Relationships - Search Engine Journal
How to Use Guest Blogging to Build Relationships  Search Engine Journal

What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started) - G2
What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started)  G2

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

How to Overcome the 3 Biggest Blogging Challenges - Search Engine Journal
How to Overcome the 3 Biggest Blogging Challenges  Search Engine Journal

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

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

The how and the why of law blogs - ABA Journal
The how and the why of law blogs  ABA Journal

Chris Zukowski's Blog - How Steam users see your game - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - How Steam users see your game  Gamasutra

25+ Unique Blog Post Ideas to Engage Your Readers - Search Engine Journal
25+ Unique Blog Post Ideas to Engage Your Readers  Search Engine Journal

Making People Understand And Care About Your Game - Gamasutra
Making People Understand And Care About Your Game  Gamasutra

Victoria Tran's Blog - The $0 Marketing Game Guide - Gamasutra
Victoria Tran's Blog - The $0 Marketing Game Guide  Gamasutra

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

Max Pears's Blog - Engaging Level Design for Combat - Pt 3 - Gamasutra
Max Pears's Blog - Engaging Level Design for Combat - Pt 3  Gamasutra

After Tumblr NSFW ban, these adult communities are rising - Fast Company
After Tumblr NSFW ban, these adult communities are rising  Fast Company

Why you should start a podcast soon - Quartz
Why you should start a podcast soon  Quartz

Can bloggers, Instagrammers, and influencers deduct travel expenses? - Business Insider
Can bloggers, Instagrammers, and influencers deduct travel expenses?  Business Insider

Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta - Duke Today
Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta  Duke Today

The simple most difficult challenge of bringing Frostpunk to consoles - Gamasutra
The simple most difficult challenge of bringing Frostpunk to consoles  Gamasutra

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

Burak Tezateser's Blog - Steam has a lack of data scientists - Gamasutra
Burak Tezateser's Blog - Steam has a lack of data scientists  Gamasutra

James Margaris's Blog - Why Artifact Failed - Gamasutra
James Margaris's Blog - Why Artifact Failed  Gamasutra

Unity Scene Hierarchy: Catch that Performance Thief! (Part 2) - Gamasutra
Unity Scene Hierarchy: Catch that Performance Thief! (Part 2)  Gamasutra

Max Pears's Blog - Engaging Level Design for Combat - Pt 2 - Gamasutra
Max Pears's Blog - Engaging Level Design for Combat - Pt 2  Gamasutra

Alex Pine's Blog - Methods of creating invisible tutorials - Gamasutra
Alex Pine's Blog - Methods of creating invisible tutorials  Gamasutra

Andrew Yoder's Blog - The Door Problem of Combat Design - Gamasutra
Andrew Yoder's Blog - The Door Problem of Combat Design  Gamasutra

How to get on the front page of imgur - Gamasutra
How to get on the front page of imgur  Gamasutra

Josh Bycer's Blog - The Reality of Game Development - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - The Reality of Game Development  Gamasutra

Together, we built a successful digital board games business. Here are 5 crucial lessons we learned. - Gamasutra
Together, we built a successful digital board games business. Here are 5 crucial lessons we learned.  Gamasutra

Ariel Marcelo Madril's Blog - Unlocking Unity Animator's interruption full power - Gamasutra
Ariel Marcelo Madril's Blog - Unlocking Unity Animator's interruption full power  Gamasutra

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity UI: The Guru's UI Development Diagram - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity UI: The Guru's UI Development Diagram  Gamasutra

David D'Angelo's Blog - King Knight's Map: Building Secret Paths - Gamasutra
David D'Angelo's Blog - King Knight's Map: Building Secret Paths  Gamasutra

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

Josh Bycer's Blog - Pursuing Playability Part 1 -- Quality of Life - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - Pursuing Playability Part 1 -- Quality of Life  Gamasutra

Jon Ingold's Blog - Designing Investigate Conversations - Gamasutra
Jon Ingold's Blog - Designing Investigate Conversations  Gamasutra

Procedural texturing for hand-painted stylized character pipelines - Gamasutra
Procedural texturing for hand-painted stylized character pipelines  Gamasutra

‘Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leader - Economic Times
‘Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leader  Economic Times

Dora Breckinridge's Blog - The Flip: Turning a Negative Review Positive - Gamasutra
Dora Breckinridge's Blog - The Flip: Turning a Negative Review Positive  Gamasutra

How Painting Works In Chicory: A Colorful Tale - Gamasutra
How Painting Works In Chicory: A Colorful Tale  Gamasutra

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Why Your Game Content Is Not Scaling - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Why Your Game Content Is Not Scaling  Gamasutra

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

Nathan Savant's Blog - Region-Based Narrative - Gamasutra
Nathan Savant's Blog - Region-Based Narrative  Gamasutra

‘Congress must not make the mistake of allowing the BJP to monopolise the nationalist narrative’ - Economic Times
‘Congress must not make the mistake of allowing the BJP to monopolise the nationalist narrative’  Economic Times

Ethics in the Videogame Industry: A Mythbusting and Scientific Approach - Gamasutra
Ethics in the Videogame Industry: A Mythbusting and Scientific Approach  Gamasutra

Simon Carless's Blog - Steam's 'Follower' counts - hidden in plain sight. - Gamasutra
Simon Carless's Blog - Steam's 'Follower' counts - hidden in plain sight.  Gamasutra

A 3D View of How We Got Here - Gamasutra
A 3D View of How We Got Here  Gamasutra

Eliza developer Matthew Burns on stress, choices that matter, and language of games - Gamasutra
Eliza developer Matthew Burns on stress, choices that matter, and language of games  Gamasutra

17 Non-Negotiable Skills for Blog Writers in Any Business - Search Engine Journal
17 Non-Negotiable Skills for Blog Writers in Any Business  Search Engine Journal

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

Tristan Jung's Blog - How Do Bullets Work in Video Games? - Gamasutra
Tristan Jung's Blog - How Do Bullets Work in Video Games?  Gamasutra

Frank Zhang's Blog - Building a Fantasy VR World in Unity - Gamasutra
Frank Zhang's Blog - Building a Fantasy VR World in Unity  Gamasutra

Neil Schneider's Blog - What Client-to-Cloud REALLY Means - Gamasutra
Neil Schneider's Blog - What Client-to-Cloud REALLY Means  Gamasutra

A Postmortem. Making Games Is Easy. Selling Them, Not So Much. - Gamasutra
A Postmortem. Making Games Is Easy. Selling Them, Not So Much.  Gamasutra

Max Pears's Blog - Level Design for Combat - Gamasutra
Max Pears's Blog - Level Design for Combat  Gamasutra

Gafgar Davallius's Blog - Satisfactory: Network Optimizations - Gamasutra
Gafgar Davallius's Blog - Satisfactory: Network Optimizations  Gamasutra

Simon Carless's Blog - Nintendo Switch: A Discoverability Followup - Gamasutra
Simon Carless's Blog - Nintendo Switch: A Discoverability Followup  Gamasutra

Kenneth Liu's Blog - Kliuless #54: A Decade of LoL - Gamasutra
Kenneth Liu's Blog - Kliuless #54: A Decade of LoL  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

My Roblox Years: Dungeon Life and New Product Science - Gamasutra
My Roblox Years: Dungeon Life and New Product Science  Gamasutra

Steam Indie Game Sales Numbers - Battle Royale Tycoon - Gamasutra
Steam Indie Game Sales Numbers - Battle Royale Tycoon  Gamasutra

Justin Popa's Blog - Community-driven development - Gamasutra
Justin Popa's Blog - Community-driven development  Gamasutra

Nuvi Acquires Social Healthcare Leader Banyan - Associated Press
Nuvi Acquires Social Healthcare Leader Banyan  Associated Press

Catherine Fox's Blog - Beyond A Steel Sky - Dev Diary #3 - Gamasutra
Catherine Fox's Blog - Beyond A Steel Sky - Dev Diary #3  Gamasutra

Shihoko Ura: A chronicle of caring, teaching and food blogging - The Japan Times
Shihoko Ura: A chronicle of caring, teaching and food blogging  The Japan Times

Chris Zukowski's Blog - How players shop during a Steam sale - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - How players shop during a Steam sale  Gamasutra

David D'Angelo's Blog - Shovel Knight Showdown: Chester's Choice - Gamasutra
David D'Angelo's Blog - Shovel Knight Showdown: Chester's Choice  Gamasutra

Evgeny Dyabin's Blog - Cascadeur: character's pose prediction using 6 points - Gamasutra
Evgeny Dyabin's Blog - Cascadeur: character's pose prediction using 6 points  Gamasutra

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

Nadya Primak's Blog - Is a Game Development Degree Worth it? - Gamasutra
Nadya Primak's Blog - Is a Game Development Degree Worth it?  Gamasutra

A Response to Cliffski's 10 Tips to 10X Your Indie Game Development Process - Gamasutra
A Response to Cliffski's 10 Tips to 10X Your Indie Game Development Process  Gamasutra

Catherine Fox's Blog - Beyond A Steel Sky - Dev Diary #2 - Gamasutra
Catherine Fox's Blog - Beyond A Steel Sky - Dev Diary #2  Gamasutra

Verizon selling blogging site Tumblr to WordPress owner - Inc.
Verizon selling blogging site Tumblr to WordPress owner  Inc.

Video: Outer Wilds — Is it my Genre? Trailer Analysis - Gamasutra
Video: Outer Wilds — Is it my Genre? Trailer Analysis  Gamasutra

Ben Weber's Blog - Automating Machine Learning for Mobile Games - Gamasutra
Ben Weber's Blog - Automating Machine Learning for Mobile Games  Gamasutra

Jamin Smith's Blog - The Big Game Branding 101 - Gamasutra
Jamin Smith's Blog - The Big Game Branding 101  Gamasutra

Time to call out Hindutva: Democratic India was founded on freedom, but the two nation theory is diametrically - Economic Times
Time to call out Hindutva: Democratic India was founded on freedom, but the two nation theory is diametrically  Economic Times

Epic Games' attempt to go fee-free on Google Play indicates disappointing Android performance - Gamasutra
Epic Games' attempt to go fee-free on Google Play indicates disappointing Android performance  Gamasutra

The Indie Dev's Guide to the Chinese Market - Gamasutra
The Indie Dev's Guide to the Chinese Market  Gamasutra

Josh Ge's Blog - Rebranding Difficulty Modes - Gamasutra
Josh Ge's Blog - Rebranding Difficulty Modes  Gamasutra

Niklas Gray's Blog - Data Structures Part 2: Indices - Gamasutra
Niklas Gray's Blog - Data Structures Part 2: Indices  Gamasutra

BJP: Winning at What Cost? - Economic Times
BJP: Winning at What Cost?  Economic Times

Did Activision CEO just confirm Overwatch and World of Warcraft on mobile? - Gamasutra
Did Activision CEO just confirm Overwatch and World of Warcraft on mobile?  Gamasutra

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