In these times of information overload, RSS
is the only alternative for me to stay on top of things. It gives me
the opportunity to read information from about twice as many places as
navigating to the web sites.
The possibility to just skim through
headlines and short descriptions really helps me find what I really
should read, as opposed to wasting time seeing banners, trying to
understand 30 web sites navigation structure etc.
So what does
RSS stand for? The mostly used definition is Really Simple Syndication
(which is also the definition for it in RSS 2.x), but for the format
RSS 0.91 it stands for Rich Site Summary and for RSS 1.0 it stands for
RDF Site Summary.
First of all, most (if not all) blogs have some kind of RSS feed (as does mine),
to make it easy for returning readers to see if anything has been
updated or if today’s/this week’s topic seems interesting enough to
read, and so on.
But nowadays most news sites and other web sites
use it as well, because it offers a good way to reach out to more
visitors and also giving them another option.
Personally, I use Sage,
which is an extension to Firefox, to able to, in an easy and fast
manner, go through the updates in the RSS feeds I follow. Just press
alt+s and you get it as a sidebar, without interrupting your general browsing.
So how do I know if a web site has a RSS feed? Most of the web sites offering RSS feeds have an icon, similar to this: , and in Firefox you get an orange icon in the bottom right corner, indicating that a feed is available.
a developer, you can also make the feed available by inserting a link
tag in your first page/all of your pages, like this example for the
Sage project site:
<link type=”application/rss+xml” rel=”alternate” title=”Sage Project News” href=”http://sage.mozdev.org/rss.xml” />
Interested in creating your own RSS feed now? Read this then.