Monday, 2 March 2009

Just what is RSS?

Just what is RSS?


We had a monthly get together at work recently and one of the topics that came up in conversation was ''RSS - does everybody know what this is?'' I have to say I didn't really understand it so took it upon myself to piece together exactly what this revolutionary technology is all about.

RSS is a technologu that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favourite websites. Perhaps as little as five years ago (I'm sure someone will disagree with me but...) the only real way of keeping track of updates on a website you liked meant you had to bookmark that site and manually return to the site on a regular basis to see what had been updated.

The problems with bookmarking is that you had to do all the work. The site was updated by whoever built it in the first place but once done, you had no idea that there were any changes. It is very easy to miss information even when checking bookmarks.

You end up seeing the same information over and over again on sites that weren’t update very often. Where does RSS come in? RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' Many people describe it as a 'news feed' that you subscribe to.

Think of it in terms of a magazine - a magazine that is delivered to you periodically but instead of being posted to you once a month, it is delivered to your RSS reader, every time your favourite website is updated. I've also managed to track down a brief video from videojug which explains the who process - with lots of pictures and charts!

RSS In Plain English