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RSS for Newbies; A Quick Tutorial


"RSS" stands for "Really Simple Syndication". It is a new way to distribute content. Any content: websites, blogs, forums, etc. To explain what this means, for once let's start at the end.

Content from RSS feeds can be displayed by an RSS newsreader.
You and I, as end-users or consumers of that content, can read it by installing a newsreader (more on this below). You have to put an URL for an RSS feed into that newsreader (like you put a web address in your browser).

You can recognize these RSS feed URL's by a little orange graphic displaying RSS or XML. If you click on such graphic with your right-mouse button you can copy its URL (copy ShortCut) and paste that into your newsreader. (Some sites might simply have a text "RSS" or "Syndicate" link which is basically the same.)

With that URL, the newsreader (when you are online) picks up the RSS feed that is available at that URL, reads the feed data and displays it in the reader.

The RSS feed itself contains information about the titles, descriptions and other data about the publisher's content. It is written in a special language (XML/RSS, easy to learn!), but that's out of the scope of this article.

And finally the RSS feed is made up by the publisher of the content. Most of the time their software does the job. And very often this software is used in combination with blogs. That's why lots of people mix them up. Now, to end that confusion, get this:
- a blog is content like a website or article while
- RSS is a way to distribute content

The main RSS benefits for end-users or consumers
The main benefit as an end-user or consumer of RSS is that we can subscribe to content provided by publishers WITHOUT giving out personal data like email address.

That's why Ken Evoy of SiteSell calls it 'Real Simple Subscribing'. Of course the same applies to unsubscribing. Simply delete the RSS URL from your reader and you don't receive messages from it any more.
Finally the end-user is in control. The content is coming to her without visiting a website. That makes it easy to scan and only visit those sites with promising information.

As a consequence of that the publisher better submit quality content in his RSS. Otherwise nobody will read it. So that's another big benefit!

An extra benefit for us is that we often are allowed to post comments or feedback.
Because the search engines just love RSS and blogs, they will visit them frequently to index any new content. In most cases you may add your URL in the comment post and that means a link back to your site!
So, if you find a good blog, just enter a message in the feedback section and see what happens.

And there's the benefit of speed. In this fast moving world we want everything NOW. Well, as soon as a publisher changes content we can receive it (if you have your reader online).

Are there any disadvantages?
Could be. When you start to use your reader it may be a bit 'overwhelming' like the first time you searched the Net, remember? 'Click here, click there, click this, click that ..... oops, what was it again I was looking for?

If you subscribe to every promising feed you'll encounter, you may very soon suffer from the good old 'information overload'. Such problem is easily solved by deleting the feeds and start all over again, this time more targeted. Below I have an outstanding resource to search for relevant feeds, so read on!

Another disadvantage may be the impersonal character of feeds. There's no interaction unless you visit the publisher's site. And there's no way RSS will be used for payment receipts for purchases and answers to questions asked. It simply isn't a one-to-one communication system. It's only consuming information.

So, will RSS replace email or newsletters (ezines)?
Absolutely NOT!
While RSS is an outstanding way to distribute content, it will always be very public. It's not a one-to-one communication medium. You can not build a relationship with your readers, you can't personalize it and you can't reward your subscribers for trusting you, simply because you don't know who they are.

See RSS as another way to collect information. That's all it is.
And maybe a way to ban spam because the readers are in control of the subscribe and unsubscribe process. We sign up for feeds and drop feeds anonymously. Remember, if publishers send out poor information, no-one will read it.
Wow, another big benefit!.

But for the real information, the communication with my readers, I still use my newsletter. I want to use that to provide the real insiders information. (I intend to even go one step further, but that's for another issue. Keep subscribed and you will learn more in the next few weeks!)

That's what any serious marketer will do. So, if you only subscribe to newsletters from trusted companies and individuals and sign up for RSS feeds for more general information, chances are your email box will remain free of spam and loaded with useful, more personal publisher information.

Download your reader
RSS readers are also called "RSS aggregators" or "news aggregators". Here are a few popular ones:
http://feedreader.com
http://pluck.com/
http://www.rssreader.com/
http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/ (for Mac users)
http://my.yahoo.com/ (a client-side reader, that is, you can read the feeds at your MyYahoo site; you'll need to register)

There are many more, these are just examples to get you started.
I strongly suggest to go out there and find some interesting feeds. So .....

How to find interesting RSS feeds?
There are many directories of RSS feeds already that you can browse and find something of interest. I will list a few of them below, but if you're looking for specific information then you better use an extraordinary and outstanding search tool.
A tool that you can always use, because it covers almost everything about searching and search terms.

But in this case we concentrate on RSS feeds only. It's a little window that you can keep alive in your screen. Here's how it works:

* Click this Search Link to open a little window (don't forget to bookmark it!)

* Next click on Search It in that little window! A new little window pops up.

* In that new window select 'Reference Library for Content' in Step 1. Next select anything with RSS in it in Step 2.

* If you've done that I suggest you click on 'Click Here for Information About Search Type' in the center of the window to get more help.

* Finally enter your keywords in Step 3 and hit Search It!

Easy uh? I told you this is an outstanding tool!

Other resources:
http://www.feedster.com/
http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/
http://w.moreover.com/main_site/content/index.html
http://www.syndic8.com/

Now go out and find some interesting feeds.

That's it for today.
Wish you success.
Case Stevens

Case Stevens, owner of AnOwnSite Online Marketing, is experimenting with different marketing techniques, websites, traffic and lead generation. He publishes his experiences in a newsletter featuring understandable, successful low cost Internet marketing techniques, ideas and strategies, articles, news, tips & tricks and interesting (free) downloads.

Subscribe at Affordable Online Strategies


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Wed. May / 22 / 2024

The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media ... - MacStories
The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media ...  MacStories

The 5 Best RSS Feeders (2023): Feedly, Inoreader, and Tips - WIRED
The 5 Best RSS Feeders (2023): Feedly, Inoreader, and Tips  WIRED

Heads Up – AWS News Blog RSS Feed Change | AWS News Blog - AWS Blog
Heads Up – AWS News Blog RSS Feed Change | AWS News Blog  AWS Blog

RSS Feeds - Climate Change - Conservation International
RSS Feeds - Climate Change  Conservation International

Microsoft Security Blog | Digital Security Tips and Solutions - Microsoft
Microsoft Security Blog | Digital Security Tips and Solutions  Microsoft

What Is an RSS Feed? - Lifewire
What Is an RSS Feed?  Lifewire

David Winer - Guy Kawasaki
David Winer  Guy Kawasaki

Subscribe to Updates from CISA - CISA
Subscribe to Updates from CISA  CISA

What Is an RSS Feed? Here's What You Need to Know - Business Insider
What Is an RSS Feed? Here's What You Need to Know  Business Insider

Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

The top five RSS readers for keeping up with your news feeds - The Verge
The top five RSS readers for keeping up with your news feeds  The Verge

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them - Business 2 Community
RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

The Story of the First Podcast Feed - Podnews
The Story of the First Podcast Feed  Podnews

New Ways to Customize Your Facebook Feed - Meta Store
New Ways to Customize Your Facebook Feed  Meta Store

Turning Food Waste into Feed: Benefits and Trade-offs for Nature - World Wildlife Fund
Turning Food Waste into Feed: Benefits and Trade-offs for Nature  World Wildlife Fund

Blog Feed - Enverus
Blog Feed  Enverus

What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one - Digital Trends
What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one  Digital Trends

Follow your favorite news, blogs and webcomics without Twitter - Cult of Mac
Follow your favorite news, blogs and webcomics without Twitter  Cult of Mac

ESPN.com News Feeds - ESPN
ESPN.com News Feeds  ESPN

How Google Reader died — and why the web misses it more than ever - The Verge
How Google Reader died — and why the web misses it more than ever  The Verge

Boulevard Feed Request - Security Boulevard
Boulevard Feed Request  Security Boulevard

What is a data feed? | Definition from TechTarget - TechTarget
What is a data feed? | Definition from TechTarget  TechTarget

In the Pipeline by Derek Lowe - In the Pipeline
In the Pipeline by Derek Lowe  In the Pipeline

Subscribe to Foreign Blogs in your Native Language with Google Scripts - Digital Inspiration - Digital Inspiration
Subscribe to Foreign Blogs in your Native Language with Google Scripts - Digital Inspiration  Digital Inspiration

Twitterfeed : Bringing RSS to Twitter for Every Blogger - Search Engine Journal
Twitterfeed : Bringing RSS to Twitter for Every Blogger  Search Engine Journal

The podcast revolution — Harvard Gazette - Harvard Gazette
The podcast revolution — Harvard Gazette  Harvard Gazette

Military RSS Feeds - Military.com
Military RSS Feeds  Military.com

A quick and dirty guide to making custom feeds on Bluesky – Southern Fried Science - Southern Fried Science
A quick and dirty guide to making custom feeds on Bluesky – Southern Fried Science  Southern Fried Science

News Feed ranking, powered by machine learning - Facebook Engineering
News Feed ranking, powered by machine learning  Facebook Engineering

15 Companies That Really Get Corporate Blogging — SitePoint - SitePoint
15 Companies That Really Get Corporate Blogging — SitePoint  SitePoint

Mozilla plans to remove RSS feed reader and Live Bookmarks support from Firefox - Ghacks
Mozilla plans to remove RSS feed reader and Live Bookmarks support from Firefox  Ghacks

4 Ways to embed Facebook posts and Page features on your site - Sprout Social
4 Ways to embed Facebook posts and Page features on your site  Sprout Social

NEW Planet Money - NPR
NEW Planet Money  NPR

20 years of Safari: A visual history - Cult of Mac
20 years of Safari: A visual history  Cult of Mac

Round up - BBC
Round up  BBC

The 7 Best RSS Feeds for Weather Updates: Forecasts, Warnings, and Alerts - MUO - MakeUseOf
The 7 Best RSS Feeds for Weather Updates: Forecasts, Warnings, and Alerts  MUO - MakeUseOf

Jumpstart your AI Learning journey with IBM for free - IBM
Jumpstart your AI Learning journey with IBM for free  IBM

Read Salon's blogs in your RSS reader - Salon
Read Salon's blogs in your RSS reader  Salon

Lex Fridman Podcast - Lex Fridman
Lex Fridman Podcast  Lex Fridman

FOXNews.com RSS Feeds - Fox News
FOXNews.com RSS Feeds  Fox News

7 Best Feed Reader Apps for Linux Desktop [2024] - It's FOSS
7 Best Feed Reader Apps for Linux Desktop [2024]  It's FOSS

Five apps to use to stay on top of news without looking at Twitter - The Verge
Five apps to use to stay on top of news without looking at Twitter  The Verge

Discover new information and inspiration with Search, no query required - The Keyword | Google Product and Technology News
Discover new information and inspiration with Search, no query required  The Keyword | Google Product and Technology News

RSS must discard its anti-democratic-secular India agenda - The Indian Express
RSS must discard its anti-democratic-secular India agenda  The Indian Express

Hey now lets users create blogs and newsletters right from their emails - The Verge
Hey now lets users create blogs and newsletters right from their emails  The Verge

NetNewsWire is the best RSS reader for iPhone, iPad and Mac - Cult of Mac
NetNewsWire is the best RSS reader for iPhone, iPad and Mac  Cult of Mac

Philip Rosenthal's food blogging show 'Somebody Feed Phil' reaches Nashville - The Economic Times
Philip Rosenthal's food blogging show 'Somebody Feed Phil' reaches Nashville  The Economic Times

Madan Das – the RSS Leader who could say No - The Times of India
Madan Das – the RSS Leader who could say No  The Times of India

ACLU News & Commentary - ACLU
ACLU News & Commentary  ACLU

NCSC RSS feeds - NCSC.GOV.UK - National Cyber Security Centre
NCSC RSS feeds - NCSC.GOV.UK  National Cyber Security Centre

Tennis Scores - ATP & WTA Match Results - Tennis Now
Tennis Scores - ATP & WTA Match Results  Tennis Now

Star Wars News, Articles & Quizzes - StarWars.com
Star Wars News, Articles & Quizzes  StarWars.com

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh joins micro-blogging site Koo, would make all major announcements from the ‘Swadeshi’ social media platform - Organiser
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh joins micro-blogging site Koo, would make all major announcements from the ‘Swadeshi’ social media platform  Organiser

Broadcasting the World Cup and Wimbledon in UHD - the full story - BBC
Broadcasting the World Cup and Wimbledon in UHD - the full story  BBC

Subscribe - Word on Fire
Subscribe  Word on Fire

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 4 - The Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 4  The Times of India

Yahoo Mail RSS Reader (Screenshots!) Integrates Blogs into Email - Search Engine Journal
Yahoo Mail RSS Reader (Screenshots!) Integrates Blogs into Email  Search Engine Journal

BBC Comedy Blog - BBC
BBC Comedy Blog  BBC

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1 - The Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1  The Times of India

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1 - The Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1  The Times of India

Feed Me Featured, Reviews Film Threat - Film Threat
Feed Me Featured, Reviews Film Threat  Film Threat

RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well - The Indian Express
RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well  The Indian Express

Sony Ericsson K800i review: Sony Ericsson K800i - CNET
Sony Ericsson K800i review: Sony Ericsson K800i  CNET

The Editors: RSS feeds for BBC News correspondent pages - BBC
The Editors: RSS feeds for BBC News correspondent pages  BBC

3 Days? RSS Had 22 Years to Form Army Against Brits, but It Didn’t - The Quint
3 Days? RSS Had 22 Years to Form Army Against Brits, but It Didn’t  The Quint

Will a dalit become RSS chief or Shankaracharya? - The Times of India
Will a dalit become RSS chief or Shankaracharya?  The Times of India

Narendra Modi behind anti-Gadkari campaign, blogs RSS ideologue - India Today
Narendra Modi behind anti-Gadkari campaign, blogs RSS ideologue  India Today

How association with RSS has given meaning to my life - The Times of India
How association with RSS has given meaning to my life  The Times of India

8 of the Best RSS Readers for Windows - Make Tech Easier
8 of the Best RSS Readers for Windows  Make Tech Easier

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