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MAIN Arrow to Computer AgeTechnology Arrow to Computer Age - InternetInternet Arrow to Internet BrowsersRSS Feeds

RSS is all the buzz online. You've probably seen displaying those orange XML buttons let your visitors know that you have a feed on your site buttons.

What is RSS? It a programming system that was developed by Dave Winer, founder of UserLand software, and fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Version 0.91 was released in June, 2000. Netscape began using it for news headlines, but it was not picked up by the rest of the 'Net for a very long time.

RSS was soon discovered by the rest of the world and fast became a "must have" for increasing visitor traffic to websites, blogs and podcasts.

Basically, RSS feeds provide a summary of article titles, news headlines or other short text descriptions of content on a site. The descriptions come with links to let interested readers click through to read the entire story.

Web-o-pedia defines RSS as "Short for RDF Site Summary or Rich Site Summary, an XML format for syndicating Web content. A Web site that wants to allow other sites to publish some of its content creates an RSS document and registers the document with an RSS publisher. A user that can read RSS-distributed content can use the content on a different site. Syndicated content includes such data as news feeds, events listings, news stories, headlines, project updates, excerpts from discussion forums or even corporate information."

Most people know it as "really simple syndication." For anyone surfing the Web this RSS code brings access to the most current news and features in a quick and easy to use format. Internet users can see lists of articles, news headlines, bargains on air fares and stock quotes without having to search through more than a billion pages of information.

Blogs are probably the most talked about form of RSS. A simple code lets anyone become an instant expert celebrity with just a few well written words syndicated to the world and picked up by thousands of readers in an instant. The feed carries just the headlines and the public searches in top blog directories to find your feed and hurry to your blog for the full treatment.

For Web publishers, RSS provides an easy way to let people know about the latest news and features available on your site. With an RSS feed, XML code embedded in a Web page, you can send your site content to millions of viewers.

Like the syndicated columns and comics in newspapers, an RSS feed can make your work available to any site online or to folks at their computers with a reader on their desktop. It's terrific marketing. You and your site get credit for the work, happy webmasters get good content to feed their information hungry visitors, and the visitors have an easy way to find the sites with articles, news and other content that interests them.

Sounds great. Really simple syndication...how hard can that be to use, to create or to add to your web site? You ask about it and look around online for a really simple tool...and all of a sudden really simple syndication becomes really complicated.

Relax. Whether you are reading RSS feeds or trying to implement them on your site, the technology is easier to use than it seems at first.

The guides and tools here will have you using RSS to keep up with all the latest online and to broadcast your own news to the world ...

More information about RSS around the Web:

What is RSS? - A great introduction if you just want to be able to read RSS feeds. Includes where to find readers, how to add things you want to read and where to look for more RSS feeds that you might want to keep up to date with.

RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters - A good introduction to "the features and benefits of a Web format called RSS..." with some info on ATOM, an RSS variant used by Google's Blogger. You'll find examples of RSS & ATOM code to copy for your own feed, good -- easy to follow -- tutorials and links to tons of resources for those with programming backgrounds who feel the need for more complicated explanations.

RSSTop55 - Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites - Where To Submit My RSS Feeds And Weblog URLs To Get More Exposure, Visibility And Reach - A list of the best places to submit your blog or RSS feed once you get it up and running.

 

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