An Explanation of RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
A non-technical explantion of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) for clients and anyone else who is interested.
Really Simple Syndication is a technology that has existed on the web for a few years. This is a non-techincal explanation of what it is and how it works. In short it does two things:
- It allows content from a site to be syndicated to (or displayed on) other sites. This might be your latest news, your price list, or anything else for that matter. When you publish new content it can be automatically updated and displayed on other sites. This can be extremely useful in publishing your content elsewhere at little or no cost. Of course you need to agree this with other sites first!
- Secondly it allows users to be automatically notified of new content without needing to visit your site.
How to subscribe to a feed
In order to subscribe to a RSS Feed you need a Newsreader. There are many options here both free and not free. Personally I use Thunderbird on Windows and Vienna on Macintosh. Both are free and work very well.
To subscribe you need the URL of the feed. This is much like a traditional link. You can copy the link by right clicking and choosing copy, or copy link location (depending on which brower you use).
Each Newsreader has a slightly different way off adding a URL but it should be straightforward and obvious. On Vienna it is "Add a new Subcription".
Paste the link into the reader and that's it! Your Newsreader will now check at regular intervals and if there is a new story it will be downloaded. There is no need for you to visit a site in order to check whether there is a new story.
The idea is much like email. Feeds you have selected will automatically come to you as they are published. Of course you can unsubscribe from feeds as and when you wish.