What is RSS and how can you use it?

Have you noticed the little RSS icons around the web? Or have you heard about RSS from friends or colleagues, but still it remains a mystery to you? What does it mean, how does it work and do I really need it? These are just some of the questions that usually comes to people’s minds when they hear about RSS. In this article, we’re going to answer these questions and explain what RSS means and how can you use it.

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, where syndication means collection of information from different places. RSS allows a publisher to automatically push out new contents to users when it becomes available. It’s basically a list of links with titles that is updated periodically by a program on a web server.

How can I use it?

To subscribe to an RSS feed you need a link to this particular file you wish to follow. Normally, the websites you wish to follow has links in the footer to their RSS feeds. It can also be called an “Atom” feed, which is a competing standard, but it’s basically the same thing.

When you have the link/URL you put it into your RSS aggregator or feed reader. In this case feeder.co provides feed reading software for the desktop, mobile phone and tablet.

What is an RSS aggregator?

There are many RSS aggregators around. The beauty of an open standard, like RSS or Atom, is that anyone can create an interface around it. The free market allows the consumer to choose the best available option, unlike other social media services like Facebook and Twitter where you’re forced to use their available apps.

What information does RSS provide?

It’s all up to the website owner to choose how much information or what information is presented in the RSS feed. Normally, a list of the latest posts or entries for a website are sorted in chronological order. Some RSS feeds contain extra metadata, like images, media links, alternative links, author, a short summary etc. At feeder.co we strive to support all feeds we come across.