What Is An RSS Reader How To Use It !
With millions of blogs on the Internet, it sometimes gets difficult to keep track of the latest stories about your friends, opinions of popular bloggers, product reviews, and even breaking news stories. It worked fine for a time, when there are only a few blogs worth following. Yet with so many blogs being made and updated every day, your browser’s bookmarks may not be enough for you to get to the issues talked about in a blog. Sometimes, all you really need is a short summary or excerpt of a blog entry to see whether you’re keen on reading the entire entry. Thanks to RSS, following and reading blogs has become easier and more convenient.
What is RSS?Syndication and the fast spreading of data and information has long been a goal of the Internet. Information must be spread as quickly and as accurately as possible; to accomplish that, syndication should use a standard format that makes it easy for people to follow sites that are frequently updated, from news sites to personal journals. Syndication also makes it possible for readers to subscribe and follow new content on blogs and websites.
RSS is a group of formats used to create and read Web feeds through a single standard format. RSS is used for blogs and sites with frequently updated content, which makes it easier for people to keep track of what’s abuzz online. Depending on the format you’re using, RSS means three different things:
- For RSS 0.91: Rich Site Summary
- For RSS 0.9 and RSS 1.0: RDF (Resource Description Framework) Site Summary
- For RSS 2.0: Really Simple Syndication
Types of RSS Readers:To access and maximize RSS, you need to use an RSS reader, or a feed aggregator. While RSS can be skimmed through browser windows using the link of the feed, an aggregator makes subscribing, following, and updating RSS easier. There are two types of RSS readers that you can use:
- Web-based aggregators are applications that run without being installed into your hard drive, and run directly from the Internet. A Web-based aggregator can be accessed anywhere from a public connection or through mobile devices like laptops and next-generation internet phones. Web-based applications are often used for personal use, where a user would subscribe to blogs and sites he or she finds useful or interesting. Homepages and Web portals like Yahoo! and Google offer built-in RSS functionalities.
- Client aggregators are used by people who take blogging seriously, or for site administrators who need to keep abreast of the many updates taking place at noteworthy blogs and sites on the Web. Client aggregators need to be installed on your computer, and work through the desktop or through a program outside of your Web browser. A client aggregator is very useful for people who subscribe to many blogs, write about serious issues, or for bloggers with a wide reader base.
Reading Blogs With RSS:RSS is a very convenient way to read blogs, especially if you’re pressed for time or if you have limited network resources. There are two ways to read blogs using an RSS feed:
- Full text feeds syndicate a particular site’s feed in full, usually without images,videos, and coding that will slow down your reading. A full text feed will publish the entire post through RSS. Full text feeds are particularly useful for readers on the go.
- Excerpt feeds syndicate a small amount of information from a website, usually the first few sentences of the first paragraph of a post. Excerpt feeds are very useful for people who write long, informative posts. To read the whole post, the reader will have to click on the direct link posted along with your RSS feed, and will then be redirected to your site.
Making Your Blog RSS-Friendly :Most blogs hosted by a blog hosting service already installed with RSS utilities. To access RSS, you simply append the “/feed” command to the URL on your browser’s address bar. If that solution does not work for you, here are other ways to enable RSS on your site:
- Coding : If you’re well-versed with Web programming commands, you can make your blog RSS-ready by inserting a few lines of code on the header or body of the site’s index page file.
- RSS tools : Many tools are available on the Web that automate RSS, or act as RSS hosting services. A simple search of RSS tools using a search engine or crawler makes the task easy and convenient for you. RSS readers and popular feeds can also be bookmarked through your browser.