What is RSS?

Really simple syndication, or RSS, also known as a type of “feed” or “aggregator” is used to list frequently updated content on a Web site, in a specific format.

Originally and mostly used for blogs, RSS is now used by major news sites like Reuters, AP, NYT, WSJ, and Wired to push out their latest news.

The content of the feed can be read by using software called an RSS or Feed reader.

Feed readers display hyperlinks, and include other metadata (information about information) that helps you decide whether they want to read more, follow a link, or move on.

Wikipedia’s list of feed aggregators is fairly up-to-date. Pick one and install it on your PC; many versions are available for free – I use JetBrains Omea.

Once you have subscribed to the news/blogs you want to read, your feed reader will regularly go out to the Web and check for new content, download any new news it finds, and store it on your machine. This is useful if you want to read your news when you are offline.

The original intent of RSS is to make information come to you (via the feed reader) instead of you going out to look for it (via the Web).

More information about RSS:

RSS Tutorial

RSS 2.0 at Harvard Law

Scripting News – Dave Winer’s Blog

If you’re interested in subscribing to any of the news feeds listed above, check out:

Reuters Feeds

Associated Press Feeds

New York Times Feeds

Wall Street Journal Feeds

Wired Feeds

If you found this post useful, please consider subscribing to my feed

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