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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 this  somewhere 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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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sally
Twitter:
May 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

Hey Dee Ann

I too use feedburner for my blog feed (it gives you cool stats and lets you know how many people are following your feed etc) and feed demon as my reader.

Feeds can also be fed into your social media accounts such as facebook and twitter which again gives more exposure to your blog posts and helps increase your traffic too.

Regarding readers, I too ditched email notification for the same reason, too many emails, but I love feed demon as it has a little desk top notifier that let’s you know when new updates are received (particularly good if you are a blog hopper and want to get the first comment)

Great post for those people new to RSS, I will be sure and sign up for your feed too.

Sally :)
Sally recently posted…I Faced Another FEAR… Bring It On :)My Profile

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2 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
May 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Sally,

Thanks for the great additional information. RSS is really amazing and can really give your blog so much more exposure as well as making it easy to check other blogs.

I love using RSS and the more I use it the more I love it.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Dee Ann Rice

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3 Barry
Twitter:
June 2, 2011 at 11:20 am

Sally I’ve tried to subscribe to your RSS and it want to go to my email. Can i subscribe and set it up for Feed Demon?

If so how please?

Barry
Barry recently posted…Journey to success part 2: Develop specific goals to attain your dreamsMy Profile

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4 Mouh
Twitter:
May 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I didn’t know much about RSS feed before. I too had no idea what RSS is. I watched a video on YouTube called RSS Feed in Plain English and it was really helpful to me.

I think some marketers are taking advantage of RSS feed to get more backlinks and more traffic. There are software that use the power of RSS to give you more exposure and more backlinks. I have one in mind but I have never tried it. I wanted to purchase it before but I’ve changed my mind even though I have heard a lot of positive feedback about it.

Dee Ann, thanks for sharing your experience with RSS feed. I am sure it’ll help many people.

Have a great weekend!
Mouh :)
Mouh recently posted…How to Use These Display Boards and Board Notes to Enhance the Uniqueness of your ContentMy Profile

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5 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
May 30, 2011 at 12:48 am

Mouh,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

RSS is really amazing. I only covered a small part of what it does and can do. I am also using it to automatically post to facebook and twitter. There is so much out there about it, I could only cover one aspect of it here. May do another post on using it to promote a website.

Thanks again,

Dee Ann

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6 Edwin May 31, 2011 at 2:40 am

Great article for newbies (and maybe even pros alike). Well done!

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7 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
May 31, 2011 at 3:01 am

Edwin,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

There seems to be all of these things that I really have never understood so I figure someone else must be in the same boat.

Hopefully it will help others as well as me.

Dee Ann

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8 raverture May 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for thoroughly explaining all about RSS. Honestly, I do not know all about RSS until I read your article. I always noticed this symbol on everyone’s blog and if you want to subscribe, just click the RSS. Now, I will not be ignorant about it anymore. This is very helpful and informative. :)

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9 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
May 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I am glad that this helped you. I find it very easy to keep track of all of the blogs that I follow.

Thank you for stopping by.

Dee Ann

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10 Linda May 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Great post, even though I know about RSS and how powerful it is, so many others do not know.

I get my RSS feeds right into my toolbar. Going to another site is not beneficial to me, I need it in front of my face so I can remember..lol. I guess that is where the google reader adds them, into my google toolbar.

RSS is a great invention that all blog owners should definitely utilize.

Have a great day!
Linda

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11 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
May 31, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Linda,

I will have to look into getting them in on my tool bar. I probably missed that I could do that or thought that I did not need another tool bar.

RSS really is a great invention for bloggers. I love it.

Thank you for stopping by.

Dee Ann

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12 Adrienne May 31, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Ah, great minds think alike don’t they!

After our conversation the other day, I decided this was definitely a topic I could also share with my readers since I had to openly admit when I first got online I had no idea what an RSS Feed even was.

You’ve definitely gone into a lot more detail describing this then I did. My video shows how to set up your feeds in Google Reader so it’s makes it much easier to locate.

Great explanation though Dee Ann, very well thought out. Job well done.

Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted…How Subscribing to RSS Feeds Can Make Your Life EasierMy Profile

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13 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
May 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Adrienne,

I liked your post on RSS because it had the video. I thought about doing a video but didn’t. It makes it more clear on the video just how to set RSS up.

I thought it was great that you did a post on the same thing. Fun to see it from two different points of view and only makes something that was such a stumbling block for me so much clearer.

Thanks for your comment.

Dee Ann

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14 Barry
Twitter:
June 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

Hi dee Ann, Thank you thank you thank you.

With everything happening offline these days with my mum this is one of the jobs that i have said “later” to for far to long.

I have followed your instructions and have now set up my RSS on feedburner and feed demon as my reader. I always avoided using RSS due to the email overload.

Excellent post Dee Ann

Respect and Regards, Barry
Barry recently posted…Journey to success part 2: Develop specific goals to attain your dreamsMy Profile

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15 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
June 3, 2011 at 1:03 am

Barry,

I also avoided using RSS because I did not want anymore emails, I already got to many. That is why I was so excited when I realized that I could use RSS another way. I love using it in a feed reader.

Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Dee Ann

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16 Shivam Garg June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Hi Dee Ann,
Nice post.I always wondered it was some kind of message to make you aware of the new things.I guess I was a bit right.Never knew the full form.Thanks for the information.

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17 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Shivam,

RSS is rather confusing until you realize just what it is. Now that I know how to use it I love it and don’t know what I did with out it.

Glad this helped you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dee Ann

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18 arthurprudentt777 June 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Hi Dee Ann,
thank you for posting “What The Heck Is RSS?”
As for me it is absolutely essential to post my blogs entries and websites updates via RSS.
One more tip is that you can post on your web2 sites your blog entries via ping.fm – this is a free service where you can submit your blog RSS and it automatically submit the blog entries to your web2 sites.
Check it out, it is a great tool.
Regards. Arthur

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19 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
June 15, 2011 at 2:54 am

Arthur,

Thanks for the additional tips about using RSS with ping.fm.

I am going to check that out. I have used ping.fm but have not recently.

That is great to know.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Dee Ann

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20 arthurprudentt777 June 18, 2011 at 1:02 am

Hi Dee Ann,
to make it easier, there is other option if you have lots of RSS to feed your web2 sites. Check out hootsuite.com You can have five social profiles plus 2 RSS/Atom Feeds for free or $5.99 unlimited RSS Feeds.
Many Thanks
Arthur

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21 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
June 18, 2011 at 1:44 am

Arthur,

I have used hootsuite and that is a good suggestion. Thank you very much.

Dee Ann

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22 Kevin July 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

Hi Dee Ann,

Thank you very much for this post. For someone who is new to the word for ‘Rich Site Summary’, it is immense help.

Cheers,
Kevin Rudd

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23 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
July 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

Kevin,

I always found RSS to be confusing but, now I could not live without it. I use it everyday and wonder what I ever did without it.

I am glad that I could be of help to you and hope you now have a better understanding of RSS.

Use it, it makes life on the internet so much easier.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dee Ann

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24 Allan July 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Hi Dee Ann,
very informative article. I enjoyed reading it. Just a foot note for those people wanting to take advantage of commentluv when leaving a comment. Even though WordPress is kind enough to automatically generate RSS feeds for us (I think one for posts and one for comments) be aware that not all WordPress themes put the link to the RSS feed in the same place. To allow the commentluv plugin to find your recent posts you need to have a link to your RSS post feeds in the head section of your page (ie between the head tags). If the link is only in the body section of your page commentluv cannot find your posts and you cannot get the link luv you want when leaving a comment. Hope this helps. Thank you.

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25 Dee Ann Rice
Twitter:
July 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

Allan,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Thank you also for the additional information. I am sure that will be very helpful to some people.

The whole idea is to get track backs to our websites and if it is not happening because the RSS feed is in the wrong place that is something to know.

Have a great week.

Dee Ann

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