What is RSS?

rss button

RSS stands for Really Simple Subscription, and it’s a great tool. You’ll be hearing more and more about it as the service catches on. What it does is take the articles posted on all of your favorite blogs (many other kinds of web site also have RSS feeds) and deliver them to you in one simple package. It’s kind of like having your own personal magazine filled with content from blogs and web sites that you choose.

When I post an article to my blog, it gets sent out in what’s called a feed to the various services available on the Internet. These services are called feed readers. There are quite a few out there. You just pick the one that works for you and set up a quick account. Any time you run across a blog that you want to read again, you simply click on the orange RSS button and then choose your particular feed reader to add that blog to your feed.

Now, when I first heard of RSS I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it was a helpful or necessary service. I’ve learned quite a bit since then. Here are some of the advantages:

  • no email address needs to be given out (so no in-box clutter)
  • the articles are available for you when you open the feed
  • you are in control of when you access the content
  • your email address can’t be shared with advertisers or spammers
  • articles are listed in the feed with a title and excerpt
  • you don’t have to remember a long list of sites or spend time going to them

Wondering if a particular web site is set up for RSS? The most common icon is the orange flare button, which might show in the address bar of your browser. The other places to look for it are the sidebar of the blog, or at the bottom of the article.

I was a little nervous about trying my first RSS subscription. I clicked on the orange button, then hesitated when a list of readers came up. It took Hubby’s encouragement to get me to actually click on one (I chose Google reader since I have a gmail account) and enter the blog in. Turns out it was really easy. That’s probably where the ‘really simple’ came from, lol.

If you’re looking for a time saver and easy way to read from all of your favorite sites, try out RSS. Go ahead. Click on the little orange button. You’ll be glad you did. 😀

Image courtesy of dullhunk via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • PandaBean August 22, 2007, 4:34 pm

    Thanks for the explination! I always thought it meant I would need special programming or some such. I don’t think I’ll subscribe tho’; I love going to everyone’s blogs and reading comments and leaveing comments and seeing any changes they may have made, etc etc. It is really nice to know that tho’!

    God Bless!

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