Quick RSS Primer
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RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary (depending on who you ask). RSS is a defined standard based on XML, with the specific purpose of delivering updates to Web-based content. Using this standard, Webmasters provide headlines and fresh content in a succinct manner. Meanwhile, consumers use RSS readers and news aggregators to collect and monitor their favorite feeds from one centralized program. Content viewed in the RSS reader or news aggregator is known as an RSS feed. While the majority of RSS feeds currently contain news headlines or breaking information, the long term uses of RSS are broad.

RSS is becoming increasing popular. The reason is fairly simple. RSS is a free and easy way to promote a Web site and its content, without the need to advertise or create complicated content sharing partnerships.

There are three basic parts of an RSS feed. The feed's general information, the feed's items, and the feed's image.

The feed's general information is made up of a few required and several optional data fields, which describe the whole RSS feed. For example, a feed title, description, and link are required. Optional feed fields can contain information about the feed such as the editor, copyright, and Webmaster.

A feed can contain one or more items. Each item can be thought of as a separate news article or announcement. Typically, items are periodically updated by the feed's author, adding new content when available. End users who subscribe to (watch) the feed (typically using feed reader or news aggregator software) are shown the new items when they become available.

Every feed can have an image associated with it. A feed's image is typically a company logo, or other image that relates to the feed's content.

After a feed is created, a Webmaster will typically upload it to a Web server, and create links on their Web site which point to the new feed. A little effort is also usually spent on advertising the new feed to visitors (or potential visitors) of the Web site.

RSS feeds are widespread and extensively used by sites such as Yahoo, CNet, NY Times, BBC, and many more. Join the club with FeedForAll. You are in good company.