What is an RSS Feed?

What is an RSS Feed?

Want to know what an RSS feed is? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Want more of a plain English definition? Read on!

First, the Feed Part

A feed is a sort of broadcasting system that lets websites that are frequently updated let the world know that they have new content. It’s sort of a messaging system that let’s your site yell out to a bunch of places on the Internet that ‘Hey! I’ve been updated with some stuff you need to check out! Come look this way!”

This lets those updated web sited (or web services) like blogs, twitter feeds, etc update many different places all at once.

What is RSS?

RSS is really just a standard. It’s a certain kind of a feed format. For example, you know how when you call some one on the phone you have to enter numbers in a certain format? That would be considered a standard. Rss is just another kind of standard that is very widely supported.

RSS Feed Explained

The best way to explain an RSS Feed is to list the benefits. I like to use the analogy of the Reuters news service. You know how, especially in local papers, a lot of the news has the text ‘pulled from the wire’ or from the Associated Press? Well, someone, somewhere submitted that content for use to specific news outlets. RSS Feeds let you do the same thing. You can syndicate your content around the entire Net for free by making an RSS feed and pinging different listening stations.

RSS Syndicates Your Content

Once your feed is being picked up by different places around the web, more people know that you have a great website with new stuff in it every time you write a new article. This is one of the many reasons I really recommend that small businesses take advantage of blogs; because of the free publicity and traffic an RSS Feed gives you.

Reading Other People’s RSS Feeds

Thanks to RSS feeds, there is an real easy way to keep up with all of your peer’s websites without having to actually visit each and every one – this website included! That is to use the Google Reader service to keep up to date with every site you visit that has an RSS feed. It’s free of charge and really makes your life much easier!

Any questions? I’m here to help! Just leave a note in the comments and I’ll do the best I can!

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