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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

What is an RSS Feed? Everything You Need to Know

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You have a favorite news website, and you like to keep abreast of events posted on your community website and have a dozen (or more) preferred blogs or podcasts with new content every week.

Checking each page one by one will take forever. By signing up to receive emails, you can get new information, but it’s also easy to confuse or ignore spam altogether in a cluttered inbox. Relying on social media updates on a website can mean that you are missing something important.

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However, in the RSS feed, these updates and notifications are collected, organized, and updated in real time and placed in one place so you can see them all at once.

What is RSS?

RSS represents a Really Simple Syndication. Refers to files that are easily readable by a computer using the name of an XML file that automatically updates information.

The user’s RSS reader obtains this information which converts files from the latest website updates to an easy to read format. Provides titles, summaries, update notifications, and links to articles on your favorite site page.

This content is published in real time, so the best results in the RSS feed are always the latest content posted for the site.

The RSS feed lets you create your own personalized eZine with cutting edge content for the topics and websites that interest you.

How does site information get to your feed?

The author of your chosen website or podcast creates an RSS feed that maintains a list of new updates or notifications. You can refer to this list yourself or subscribe to the feed to have updates appear in your feed reader. This will notify you immediately of updates.

What does the information look like?

In the feed reader, you will see the brief necessary information about all of the content. They are published in chronological order, so the entry above is the last entry posted.

The RSS feed shows you the title, description, and link to the original content. This helps you quickly delete what interests you and what doesn’t. When you find something you like, you can click to access the full content.

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All thanks to the aggregator

So how does it work? The aggregator is responsible for the convenience of the RSS feed.

The RSS aggregator automatically searches for new content on websites. Content is immediately pulled from your feed, so you don’t have to browse each site individually to find new content.

The aggregator even tracks what you have and has not read the listed number of articles or content for each web page you follow that has not been seen. This allows you to see what’s happening on the websites that interest you more quickly.

How can you add web pages to your RSS reader?

Increasingly, websites are simplifying this process for you. When you’re on your favorite site, look for a small orange icon with RSS or XML letters. When you click this icon, you add this web address or link to your browser. You can also search for the site in your browser and add it to your feed.

The beauty of RSS feeds is that they are primarily customizable in your reader or on the website you are following. Choose to be updated only in the sports or art section of the local newspaper.

Choose a specialized Google News alert that will be sent to you via your feed. Define your search parameters in the Craigslist for something you expect to find and receive updates that match your research notes.

Despite countless ways to receive information these days, RSS is still a meaningful way to stay on top of what’s important to you.

Customizable to your liking, the RSS feed guarantees that information important to you will not be lost or forgotten.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate—Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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