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An Explanation of RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

A non-technical explantion of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) for clients and anyone else who is interested.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

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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:

How to subscribe to a feed

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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.

New Subscription

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.

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