Rich Site Summary 101

What does RSS stand for?

RSS is the acronym for Rich Site Summary. It is a family of web feed formats used to make public frequently updated works—such as articles, blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document is also referred to as a feed, web feed, or channel. It includes full or shortened text, publishing dates, and authorship.

Web feeds help publishers by letting them routinely syndicate content. This is beneficial to readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from preferred websites or to combine feeds from many sites into one place.

RSS Advantages

RSS is the trouble-free resolution for viewers who use the World Wide Web on the regular. It allows these users to easily stay informed by recovering the latest content from the sites which they are most interested in. People who use RSS save time by not having to visit each site separately. Because you don’t have to commit to any newsletter nor provide personal information, your privacy is ensured. Sites such as Yahoo News and Google News offer RSS feeds.

RSS is shaping up to be a very popular and useful means for communicating. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available.

Additional Uses

In addition to notifying you about changes to websites and news headlines, RSS can be used for many other purposes. A web page is not always necessary to be associated with the items listed. Sometimes the information you may desire will be located in the titles and descriptions themselves.

There does not even have to be a web page associated with the items listed — sometimes all the information you need may be in the titles and descriptions themselves.

General Uses

• Notification of the arrival of new products in a store
• Listing and notifying you of newsletter issues, including email newsletters
• Weather and other alerts of changing conditions
• Notification of additions of new items to a database, or new members to a group

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