What’s an RSS Feed and How To Use It

An RSS Feed is a web based document that is used to publish and broadcast frequently updated web sites. Such as blogs and news sites.

Why should you care?

It can be a hassle to keep up with all your favorite blogs, YouTube channels, and News Websites. RSS Feeds solve this problem. If you subscribe to an RSS feed, you can have something called an RSS Reader (more on that in a minute) collect info on your subscription and keep you up to date.

First things first you’ll need two things: An RSS Reader, and something to subscribe to.

As far as RSS Readers go I personaly use Google Reader. For those of you that aren’t a fan of Google or just don’t like the look of their reader, here is a Top Ten List of Readers from SpeckyBoy.com. If none of those fit your taste you can always google it.

Next up is a something to subscribe to. How about my blog?

Many sites that offer an RSS Feed either have a link labeled “RSS Feed” or sometimes just “Feed.” Other times they may just have an icon that looks like this —> 

For our example we’ll use BiteSizeTuts.com as our feed we’d like to subscribe too. Its RSS Feed is http://bitesizetuts.wordpress.com/feed/. Go ahead and copy the URL address of the RSS Feed.

Now head over to your RSS Reader. There should be a section somewhere, hopefully easy to find, labeled ‘Add Subscription.’ Click this button and then use the text you just copied. It’s as easy as that.

Most RSS Readers act like email inboxes in that they tell you how many unread RSS entries you have.

Once you’ve mastered this whole worlds of possibilities exist for taking further advantage of RSS Feeds. For example on my browser ( Chrome ) I have an add-on that provides me automatically with a link to an RSS Feed on a web page if one is available. I also have another add-on that functions as a link to my RSS Reader and provides me with a live number of my unread RSS entries.

—–

“Nerdy Trivia”

• RSS Stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication.’

• RDF Site Summary, the first version of RSS, was created by Guha at Netscape in March 1999.

• A standard XML file format is used for the publication of a RSS Feed.

Any questions or want to request a Bite-Size Tutorial? Leave a comment below.

I hope you found this tutorial useful and thanks for reading.

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