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What The Heck Is RSS?

May 24, 2011 | By Dee Ann Rice

During my internet marketing journey there have been several things that seem like they are just too complicated or confusing to even try to understand much less figure out how to use.

RSS is one of those.  I think part of the hurdle for me is the fact that it is an acronym.  RSS – just what is that?  I can’t even look at the name to figure out what it might be and it reminds me of  the name of a Star Ship off of Star Trek.

What I Previously Knew About RSS:

  • I should have a link to my RSS feed on my website or blog at least once
  • I needed to have a symbol similar to thissomewhere on my blog
  • Hopefully people would click on my link to me RSS feed
  • I could put up two ways for people to join my feed – through email and just regular

What I Did Not Know.

Why anyone would ever want to join my RSS feed as I did not know why I would join anyone else’s.

I really did not want to join something that sent me more email.  I get more email now than I need and that just meant I had to delete another email every day.

So Just What Is RSS?

What Does The Acronym RSS Mean?

The Acronym RSS stands for two different sets of words that together really describe just what RSS is.  The two sets of words are:

  • Rich Site Summary
  • Really Simple Syndication

What Is The Definition Of RSS?

A way of automatically delivering regularly changing web content to whomever wants it.

How Does RSS Benefit The Publisher?

RSS benefits publishers because it allows them to syndicate their content automatically to readers that are following their site.

How Does RSS Benefit The Reader?

This is the part that I did not understand.  Now that I understand just what RSS does I love it and have subscribed to about 20 blogs.

RSS allows readers to subscribe to multiple blogs and have all of the blog posts fed into one place called a feed reader.  Then the feed reader organized all of the posts much like an email client, such as outlook organizes all of the email.

The blog posts are listed by each blog and then also all together from newest to oldest and can be filtered so only posts that you have not read show up.

How great is this.  I can go one place and see when someone puts up a new post that I want to comment on.

I no longer have to visit every blog on my list of blogs (which I add to everyday) in order to see if they have posted something new or not.  That is very time consuming.

The feed reader updates about every 30 minutes or can be manually updated whenever you want to update it.  So I can sit at my computer working on something else with the feed reader open and see when someone makes a new post.  Then I can go and comment immediately.

Getting Started With RSS!

This is so simple

1.  Get a feed reader— There about 2000 different feed reading applications.  I will list a few here. (the last 4 are online feed readers)

There are two different kinds of feed readers.  One is online and the other is on your computer.  This is much like using an email account online like Gmail and having all of your  emails go into that account or using an email client on your computer such as Outlook.

With RSS feeds though you can actually use both an online feed reader and a feed reader on your computer if you like.  You just set them to sync with each other.

I am using both Google Reader and FeedDemon Lite.  I will usually use FeedDemon Lite because I like how it filters the posts and is easy to have open on my desktop.

2.  Go to your favorite blogs and sign up for their RSS feeds.

Some blogs have two ways to sign up to receive their web feed. You can either sign up to receive it as an email or through a feed reader.  I would much prefer to have receive it through a feed reader than email.  As I said before I do not need any more emails and the posts would all just get lost in all of the other emails.

For this reason I choose to receive mine with a feed reader.

3.  Now enjoy having new posts sent to you instead of you having to go out and find them.

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