RSS: News You Choose
Why is RSS So Magical?
The answer is simple: RSS is news you choose.
How Does it Work?
Publishers and webmasters provide content and
news in an RSS feed. Users view the content of
interest in an RSS reader or news aggregator.
The aggregator or reader contains the collection
of feeds that are of interest to the user. As
the RSS feed is updated the content in the reader
or aggregator updates with the new information.
At any point, users can remove a feed from their
aggregator or reader and no longer receive information
from that source. Ultimately, the user is choosing
the news and content they wish to view.
As RSS has increased in popularity
more and more webmasters and publishers have adopted
RSS as an alternative communication stream. Webmasters
use an RSS graphic to indicate the content is
available via RSS.
RSS Aggregators and News Readers
Generally, there are three types of RSS readers
that users use to view feeds that they've subscribed
to. Feeds can be viewed in a desktop application,
web-based aggregator, or plug-in aggregator.
Desktop RSS Readers
Standalone desktop applications generally run
in the background, similar to an e-mail client,
automatically refreshing headlines as newfeeds
are updated. The RSS readers collect the feeds
and refresh items in the feeds each time they
are updated. An example of a popular standalone
desktop RSS reader is: FeedDemon - http://www.feeddemon.com
Web Based Aggregators
Web-based news aggregators are online services.
In simple terms, you can personalize a web page.
Each time that page is accessed or each time you
login to the service, the web page news headlines
from feeds that you have selected will refresh.
Examples of popular web-based RSS aggregators
are: SurfPack - http://www.surfpack.com
, FeedScout - http://www.feedscout.com
or ActiveWeb Reader - http://www.deskshare.com/awr.aspx
. My.Yahoo even has the option of including RSS
feeds on My.Yahoo start pages.
Plug-in news aggregators expand the functionality
of existing applications to allow users to veiw
RSS feeds from within an existing program. Some
plug-ins work with web browsers; others work with
e-mail clients. An example of a plugin is: NewsGator
Outlook - http://www.newsgator.com/outlook.aspx
Websites containing RSS feeds usually have a
colorful graphic indicating the availability of
an RSS feed. The graphic is usually marked 'RSS'
or 'XML'. Simply click the graphic and enter the
URL of the file into the reader. Regardless of
the RSS reader or news aggregator used by web
surfers, the process of adding feeds is generally
simple. Web surfers need only to enter the URL
of the RSS feed that they wish to view into their
news reader. Each time the reader refreshes the
feed the information contained within the feed
is updated and new content in the feed will appear
in the RSS reader.
In order to find topic-specific feeds, conduct
a search on the RSS search engines available at
RSS Specifications - http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-directory.htm
or try RSS Locator - http://www.rss-locator.com
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing and publishing
RSS feeds and NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net
a wireless messaging software company.