What an RSS
How to set up an RSS
RSS in Plain
What is RSS?
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication". It is a way to easily distribute a list of
headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a wide number of people. It is used by computer
programs that organize those headlines and notices for easy reading.
What problem does RSS solve?
Most people are interested in many websites whose content changes on an unpredictable schedule.
Examples of such websites are news sites, community and religious organization information pages,
product information pages, medical websites, and weblogs. Repeatedly checking each website to see
if there is any new content can be very tedious.
Email notification of changes was an early solution to this problem. Unfortunately, when you
receive email notifications from multiple websites they are usually disorganized and can get
overwhelming, and are often mistaken for spam.
RSS is a better way to be notified of new and changed content. Notifications of changes to
multiple websites are handled easily, and the results are presented to you well organized and
distinct from email.
How does RSS work?
RSS works by having the website author maintain a list of notifications on their website in a
standard way. This list of notifications is called an "RSS Feed". People who are interested
in finding out the latest headlines or changes can check this list. Special computer programs
called "RSS aggregators" have been developed that automatically access the RSS feeds of
websites you care about on your behalf and organize the results for you. (RSS feeds and aggregators
are also sometimes called "RSS Channels" and "RSS Readers".)
Producing an RSS feed is very simple and hundreds of thousands of websites now provide this
feature, including major news organizations like the New York Times, the BBC, and Reuters, as well
as many weblogs.
Now that is all good and well, but how the heck do you set one up, right?
I am working on a very simple guide for you on how to do this, since all the stuff I
read online seemed complicated and confusing!
"Smart Women Stupid Computers, Simple Guide to RSS Feeds" will be out in January