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RSS Feeds Explained

Posted on : 25-11-2010 | By : stargaterich | In : Internet_Marketing


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I received a feedback from a reader; probably someone who is  not familiar with RSS regarding confusion on my previous blog post on RSS.

Okay, to simplify it further, basically RSS involves two parties, namely 1) the producer of the information that is term the RSS feed and 2) the consumer of the information that is define as the RSS feed reader.

Typically it is the job of the feed master (for instance the webmaster or the blogger to update the RSS feed each time new contents are posted on their sites.)

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. The feed is a  file that is formatted as per RSS specification and usually has the extension .XML where XML stands for extensible markup language. You don’t need to worry about the details and as to how this file is created.

The end user or the consumer need to subscribe to watch the RSS feed by using software that is called RSS feed reader or RSS feed aggregator. Once the user subscribed to a particular feed, new items pertaining to that feed will be automatically shown when a fresh content becomes available.

RSS Feed Explained

If you click on my blog icon ‘FULL RSS FEED’ it will bring up a new web page which is basically just my blog feed content.  On the right corner of the new page, you will noticed the ‘Subscribe Now!’ icon.  This is where you can select the type of RSS feed reader that you wish to use to subscribe and access my blog feed.  There are  many RSS feeds that you can choose  such as Yahoo Feed Reader, Google Feed Reader and etc.

That’s pretty much to it, you don’t have to worry about the technical details on how to create the feed or how to include the feed reader into your website.  WordPress.com and Blogger.com offers free blogging software and hosting platform and thankfully both readily support RSS and Atom feeds out of the box so to speak  (note. Atom feed is another standard that serves the same purpose as RSS feed ).

By the way, most browsers has inbuilt RSS feed reader which allows you to add website that has feeds.  Depending on the browser type, you will see a small orange or some other color icon. Just click on the icon and you’re done.  For e.g. observe the below.

The orange icon highlighted by the blue arrow indicator allows you to add this website RSS feed to your browser.  In this case, FireFox browser automatically determine if the website contains any RSS feed and if so, the orange icon appears beside the website URL.  The list of RSS feeds that you have subscribe to appears on the task bar higlighted in red boundary.

RSS Feed Reader

You can delete existing feeds by right clicking the mouse and selecting the ‘delete’ function. The color and icon for the RSS feed reader as well as the list of feeds may not appear the same on different browsers, however basic functions such as add or delete feeds are usually supported. RSS is a good communication method to notify others of new content and posting on your website.

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