What Is RSS?

rss-feeds

A good friend of mine recently asked me for some help and advice with his new blog, he is very new to blogging, and was making a lot of mistakes that many new bloggers make. So, I stepped in and helped him out. During our discussions, I set up an RSS feed on his blog, and showed him how to use it. But the first question he asked was “What is RSS?”.

It then occurred to me that this extremely important and useful service, is missing from a lot of writers virtual toolboxes. As a writer, and self-confessed geek, I use RSS feeds to consume a lot of online content, from a number of sources, but if you don’t know what RSS actually is, then this is all pointless.

What Is RSS?

RSS stands for ‘Rich Site Summary’, and what it does is automatically aggregate content from numerous sources, into one place. So if you’re using an RSS reader like Tiny Tiny RSS (which is what I use incidentally) you can get access to all of the latest content from all of the sites that you regularly read – all in one place.

This means that RSS can be used by almost anyone, as we all have interests, right? So you can subscribe to a bunch of feeds that interest you, and hey presto! You have a collection of great content from all over the Internet, that’s geared towards your particular interests. When you’re on the sites that interest you, just keep on the look out for the RSS logo, so that you can subscribe to their feed.

If you look just over to the right of this page, see, just over there —–> you will see our social icons, followed by an icon that loosely resembles the signal bar on a mobile phone. That’s the global sign for an RSS feed (although it’s usually orange), and clicking it will take you to our RSS feed. All you need to do then is past the feed address from the address bar, into your favourite feed reader, and you will instantly start getting all our new content automatically.

feed-subscribe

RSS can also be used to manage things like mailing lists (don’t forget to join ours by using the form in the sidebar), as well as many other things, like If This Then That recipes – I actually use the RefuGeeks RSS feed, and an IFTTT recipe to post to all of our social networks automatically. RSS is a great tool for anyone that reads a lot online; and that friend I was telling you about is now an RSS addict, just like me.

Are you an RSS addict? Or do you know any really great RSS tech feeds? Feel free to leave your recommendations below…

What Is RSS?
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