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What is RSS?

RSS (abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication) is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.

Why use RSS?

  1. Keep current on your field
  2. Subscribe to your favorite sites to receive updates without revisiting the sites frequently to see what's new
  3. Save time...receive all notices of new web content in one central location (e.g. subscribe to students' blogs and see all their updates in one spot)
  4. Using RSS-enabled services, allow others to subscribe to receive updates when you post new content items (e.g. posting to a blog or podcast)
  5. Receive notices of new content on any computer with an Internet connection
  6. Receive notices of new content in many different formats, such as in a personalized portal (e.g. iGoogle, PageFlakes), in your web browser, on a mobile device, or in a social network

What technologies use RSS?

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Podcasts
  • Social bookmarks
  • Online media sharing (photos, YouTube, etc.)
  • Microblogs
  • Google Alerts
  • ...almost any contemporary web-based tool or service today!

Examples of RSS Feeds

How To Get Started with RSS

  1. Sign-up for a free RSS aggregator (ie: reader) account, like Google Reader or Bloglines
  2. Look for RSS or XML buttons on your favorite websites and start subscribing in your RSS reader account
  3. When you want to see what is new, check your RSS feed aggregator rather than going to each web site
  4. Start using web tools that generate RSS feeds

More RSS Resources