What Is an RSS Feed?

What Is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s is a simple, standardized content distribution method that can help you stay up-to-date with your favorite newscasts, blogs, websites, and social media channels. Instead of visiting sites to find new posts or subscribing to sites to receive notification of new posts, find the RSS feed on a website and read new posts in an RSS reader.

The History of the RSS Standard

  1. In March 1999, Netscape created RDF Site Summary which was the first version of RSS. It was used by web publishers to display their website content on My.Netscape.com and other early RSS portals.

  2. A few months later, Netscape simplified the technology and renamed it to RSS Rich Site Summary. Netscape quit participating in RSS development soon after when AOL took over Netscape and restructured the company.

  3. new version of RSS was released in 2002, and the technology was renamed to Really Simple Syndication. With this new version and the creation of the RSS icon for the Mozilla Firefox web browser in 2004, RSS feeds became more accessible to web visitors.

What Is RSS and How Does It Work?

RSS is a way for website authors to publish notifications of new content on their website. This content may include newscasts, blog posts, weather reports, and podcasts. To publish these notifications, the website author creates a text file with the XML file extension for the RSS feed that contains the title, description, and link for each post on the site. Then, the website author uses this XML file to add an RSS feed to web pages on the site. The XML file automatically syndicates new content through this RSS feed in a standard format that displays in any RSS reader. When website visitors subscribe to this RSS feed, they read the new website content in an RSS reader. These RSS readers collect content from multiple XML files, organize the information, and display the content in one application. There's a lot you can do with an RSS feed and an RSS reader. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Follow discussions on web pages and in forums without visiting each page to read the list of posted comments.
  2. Keep up-to-date on the tasty foods your favorite bloggers dish up and share recipes with your friends.
  3. Stay current with local, national, and international news from several sources.

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