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An overview of RSS feeds.
You must have heard the term “RSS” in your life somewhere. While reading articles, blogs and news on various websites, you might have noticed “subscribe” link. Do you know what exactly it is? It is actually a link that let you subscribe to that website’s RSS feeds. Today, RSS feeds are used by various websites to share their updates with their users. This article will provide you the basic concepts RSS which you must know.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is commonly used by various websites to easily share their updates, news and other information to their users. RSS is a time saving and easy way of sharing web updates and is much more efficient as compared to conventional techniques like sending email updates. The most common example of RSS feeds are news websites where they share their news updates through RSS feeds. You might have seen popular headlines on a news website. These headlines keep on changing as time passes. To get the latest news and updates, you will have to visit the website several times. Also, to let the readers know the latest headlines, publishers will have to send several news updates daily in at readers’ email inbox. RSS solves this problem efficiently by sharing all the updates with the users in real time.
What you will need to read RSS feeds?
RSS feeds are created by the publishers in XML format. First of all you need an RSS reader to read the RSS feeds. There are many RSS readers available on the internet, both paid and free. Download an RSS reader and install it on your PC. After you have installed an RSS reader on your system, you need to subscribe to the RSS feeds of a website.
How will you know that which website provides RSS feeds?
There is an icon on many websites for RSS feeds. If that icon is present on any website that means it provides RSS feeds for its readers. Click on that icon and you will be subscribed to RSS feeds of that site.
What are different type of RSS readers?
There are basically two types of RSS readers:
• Standalone application
Standalone applications are available as a software program ready to download and install on your system. After installation, its icon will be available on your desktop.
Plug-in type of readers are installed within existing programs like Mozilla firefox, Microsoft outlook, Internet explorer, etc. This reader runs along with the application.
How to subscribe to and read the RSS feeds?
Subscribing to RSS feeds is an easy task. While reading some contents like a forum post, you would have seen a link "subscribe to this feed". Click on that link. A window will appear asking you to cofirm your subscription. You can see the list of subscribed feeds on your internet explorer by clicking on the "favourites cetre". To open the Favourites centre, click on the star icon situated at the top left corner of you IE window.
Advantages of RSS feeds :
• It saves time and efforts. Users have the list of all the updates from a website. He can easily decide which feed he wants to read.
• Sharing the updates has become easy for publishers.
• Users get regular updates regarding various topics related to news, music, politics, examinations, movies, weather and climate, etc.
• No more advertising junks sent to users' email ids.
• User makes the decision whom to subscribe and whom not.
Disadvantages of RSS feeds :
• RSS feeds are not provided by every website.
• RSS feeds are just summary of whole update with lack of graphics.
• It is a new technology, so everyone is not comfortable with it.
RSS feeds are a great way of sharing information for the publishers. They also help users to stay updated with the current trends. Since it is a new technology, people often avoid to use it. But as they become familiar with it, they start using it in daily life.
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