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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. May / 09 / 2021

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Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Hey now lets users create blogs and newsletters right from their emails - The Verge
Hey now lets users create blogs and newsletters right from their emails  The Verge

Gillmor Gang: Grifters Paradise - TechCrunch
Gillmor Gang: Grifters Paradise  TechCrunch

Virtual Tour Guide/Historical Blogger Enhancing the Boston and the Savannah Region Experience for Tourists - PRNewswire
Virtual Tour Guide/Historical Blogger Enhancing the Boston and the Savannah Region Experience for Tourists  PRNewswire

19 Microblogging Platforms that Let You Blog Anywhere, Anytime - Adweek
19 Microblogging Platforms that Let You Blog Anywhere, Anytime  Adweek

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

26 Blogging Stats to Help Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Blog [Infographic] - Social Media Today
26 Blogging Stats to Help Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Blog [Infographic]  Social Media Today

Link to the Original Articles in your RSS Feeds - Digital Inspiration
Link to the Original Articles in your RSS Feeds  Digital Inspiration

'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey - WUSA9.com
'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey  WUSA9.com

RSS bets on small shakhas in hinterland to make it big in TN - The Times of India Blog
RSS bets on small shakhas in hinterland to make it big in TN  The Times of India Blog

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

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

Plano teen creates blog about mental health | News | starlocalmedia.com - Star Local Media
Plano teen creates blog about mental health | News | starlocalmedia.com  Star Local Media

Will there be peace between India and Pakistan? - The Times of India Blog
Will there be peace between India and Pakistan?  The Times of India Blog

WordPress wants to help more people into blogging - TechRadar
WordPress wants to help more people into blogging  TechRadar

Michael Wagner's Blog - Marketing for Indie Devs: Market Research - Gamasutra
Michael Wagner's Blog - Marketing for Indie Devs: Market Research  Gamasutra

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

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

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

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

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 3 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 3  Times of India

Mike Marrone's Blog - Game Dev Digest Issue #74 - Visuals and Math - Gamasutra
Mike Marrone's Blog - Game Dev Digest Issue #74 - Visuals and Math  Gamasutra

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

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

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

How a former Detroit Pistons blogger — Ohio's Jason Preston — became March Madness star - Detroit Free Press
How a former Detroit Pistons blogger — Ohio's Jason Preston — became March Madness star  Detroit Free Press

Coffman named 2020-2021 member manager of YALSA's blog, The Hub - ala.org
Coffman named 2020-2021 member manager of YALSA's blog, The Hub  ala.org

Pinarayi’s midnight rendezvous - The Times of India Blog
Pinarayi’s midnight rendezvous  The Times of India Blog

Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog - Packers.com - Packers.com
Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog - Packers.com  Packers.com

How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter - Digital Inspiration
How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter  Digital Inspiration

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

Mario Mihokovic's Blog - Starpoint Gemini 3: Navigating a Year of Hell - Gamasutra
Mario Mihokovic's Blog - Starpoint Gemini 3: Navigating a Year of Hell  Gamasutra

Josh Bycer's Blog - A Study on Modern Mobile Design - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - A Study on Modern Mobile Design  Gamasutra

Steve Thornton's Blog - Soft Skills for Game Developers - Gamasutra
Steve Thornton's Blog - Soft Skills for Game Developers  Gamasutra

Google AdSense Ads in RSS Feeds - First Impressions & Screenshots - Digital Inspiration
Google AdSense Ads in RSS Feeds - First Impressions & Screenshots  Digital Inspiration

Manusmriti, maya and Hindutva’s other ghosts - The Times of India Blog
Manusmriti, maya and Hindutva’s other ghosts  The Times of India Blog

IAP Packs in Mobile F2P: Analysis and Design - Gamasutra
IAP Packs in Mobile F2P: Analysis and Design  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

The four reasons why Indian liberals are a fast-disappearing species - The Times of India Blog
The four reasons why Indian liberals are a fast-disappearing species  The Times of India Blog

Time has come for an all-India Muslim party - The Times of India Blog
Time has come for an all-India Muslim party  The Times of India Blog

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

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8 Ways to Get (And Keep) Blog Readers  Backstage

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How to Submit a Podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify in 2021  Voices.com

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Move FeedBurner RSS Feeds From One Account to Another  Digital Inspiration

David D'Angelo's Blog - King of Cards: Joustus Deep Dive - Part 1 - Gamasutra
David D'Angelo's Blog - King of Cards: Joustus Deep Dive - Part 1  Gamasutra

These Muslim Bloggers Have Helped Me Redefine Beauty on My Terms - Allure
These Muslim Bloggers Have Helped Me Redefine Beauty on My Terms  Allure

How to Write a Successful Blog - Digital Inspiration
How to Write a Successful Blog  Digital Inspiration

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

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

February | 2021 - Brooklyn Heights Blog
February | 2021  Brooklyn Heights Blog

14 ways to gain attention for your law blog - Real Lawyers Have Blogs
14 ways to gain attention for your law blog  Real Lawyers Have Blogs

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

My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American Blog Network - Scientific American
My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American Blog Network  Scientific American

Web 100: Best law blogs - ABA Journal
Web 100: Best law blogs  ABA Journal

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

5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy - Social Media Today
5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy  Social Media Today

Is there a bigger agenda behind drug probe against Bollywood stars? - The Times of India Blog
Is there a bigger agenda behind drug probe against Bollywood stars?  The Times of India Blog

India’s language conundrum: The National Education Policy has skirted elegantly a political minefield. But t - The Times of India Blog
India’s language conundrum: The National Education Policy has skirted elegantly a political minefield. But t  The Times of India Blog

How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

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

Intel's CES 2021 Press Event: The Future of Intel (A Live Blog, 1pm PT) - AnandTech
Intel's CES 2021 Press Event: The Future of Intel (A Live Blog, 1pm PT)  AnandTech

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

Making That Shift from Blogger to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
Making That Shift from Blogger to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

Om Tandon's Blog - How to Crack the Match 3 Code?- Part 1 - Gamasutra
Om Tandon's Blog - How to Crack the Match 3 Code?- Part 1  Gamasutra

How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 Days - Business 2 Community
How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 Days  Business 2 Community

Chris Zukowski's Blog - Why people aren't buying your game - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - Why people aren't buying your game  Gamasutra

How to Set Up a Subscription Podcast on BlueHost - Chron.com - Chron.com
How to Set Up a Subscription Podcast on BlueHost - Chron.com  Chron.com

Publish your Blog to Amazon Kindle & Earn Revenue - Digital Inspiration
Publish your Blog to Amazon Kindle & Earn Revenue  Digital Inspiration

Best blogging platforms of 2021 - TechRadar
Best blogging platforms of 2021  TechRadar

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Add Inside Higher Ed content to your site  Inside Higher Ed

How (And Why) To Launch Your Financial Institution's New Blog - The Financial Brand
How (And Why) To Launch Your Financial Institution's New Blog  The Financial Brand

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

Agriculture’s watershed moment: New farm bills will unshackle 43% of India’s workforce that is engaged in - The Times of India Blog
Agriculture’s watershed moment: New farm bills will unshackle 43% of India’s workforce that is engaged in  The Times of India Blog

How to Move your Blogger Blog on Custom Domain to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
How to Move your Blogger Blog on Custom Domain to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

‘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

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

12 ways to automate and systemise 95% of your blog promotion strategy - Econsultancy
12 ways to automate and systemise 95% of your blog promotion strategy  Econsultancy

RSS’s choice of shorts as uniform indicates a belief in British power - Economic Times
RSS’s choice of shorts as uniform indicates a belief in British power  Economic Times

100 Best RSS Feeds to Follow Engineering News - SociableBlog
100 Best RSS Feeds to Follow Engineering News  SociableBlog

The RSS isn’t an NGO, it very much a government organisation - Times of India
The RSS isn’t an NGO, it very much a government organisation  Times of India

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About Contributor Lee Odden  Business Blog Consulting

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Blogs:  Gamasutra

XML – RSS - Business Blog Consulting
XML – RSS  Business Blog Consulting

How to: publish your blog to Kindle | How to succeed in journalism - Journalism.co.uk
How to: publish your blog to Kindle | How to succeed in journalism  Journalism.co.uk

It's time to move on, time to get goin' - ScienceBlogs
It's time to move on, time to get goin'  ScienceBlogs

Why so few Muslims in the union cabinet - The Times of India Blog
Why so few Muslims in the union cabinet  The Times of India Blog

12 Ways to Earn Money and Authority by Blogging - Social Media Today
12 Ways to Earn Money and Authority by Blogging  Social Media Today

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Link Outreach Emails: The Right and Wrong Approach  Business 2 Community

Farmer agitation: Use iron fist in a velvet glove - The Times of India Blog
Farmer agitation: Use iron fist in a velvet glove  The Times of India Blog

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs - Search Engine Journal
11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs  Search Engine Journal

Introducing Circuit Breaker, a new gadget blog from The Verge - The Verge
Introducing Circuit Breaker, a new gadget blog from The Verge  The Verge

This day, 75 years ago: Contrary to dogma RSS did take part in the freedom movement, including Quit India move - Times of India
This day, 75 years ago: Contrary to dogma RSS did take part in the freedom movement, including Quit India move  Times of India

Data for journalists: understanding XML and RSS - Online Journalism Blog
Data for journalists: understanding XML and RSS  Online Journalism Blog

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

Timeline: The Life of the Blog - NPR
Timeline: The Life of the Blog  NPR

Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress - The Times of India Blog
Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress  The Times of India Blog

Real-Time RSS Feeds Coming Soon to Your Favorite Feed Reader - Search Engine Journal
Real-Time RSS Feeds Coming Soon to Your Favorite Feed Reader  Search Engine Journal

Content Syndication Basics: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How - Search Engine Journal
Content Syndication Basics: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How  Search Engine Journal

50 Ways to Promote and Market your Blog Posts - Business 2 Community
50 Ways to Promote and Market your Blog Posts  Business 2 Community

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