Tutorials / How-tos


What is RSS all about?

What is RSS?

RSS is an Internet protocol - a standardized way to publish frequently updated content to the Web. RSS makes it easy for originators to make their content quickly and broadly available. Many devices, including tablets, smartphones and PCs can easily access this content. RSS is short for "Really Simple Syndication", but don't worry about that phrase. It's just a dumb name for a beautiful idea.

News articles, blog posts, update notices, sports stories, product and software reviews, etc. are all delivered via RSS. That's just a few examples of the vast buffet of RSS content available today. RSS can deliver webpages, audio and video. Most RSS content can be accessed anonymously by any interested person (a few sites require passwords).

RSS "feeds" are what make RSS content available (there are also Atom feeds, which are much the same). Feeds are generated automatically by the blogs, news sources, online publications, etc., that offer feeds. The feed itself can contain just a title with a link to the full content, an excerpt of the content along with the link, or the full entry.

RSS lets publishers distribute their content quickly and automatically. Feed content is available in a standardized format that makes it easy for users to access. RSS feeds give them a quick, easy way to keep up with news and emerging information that's important to them.

To see a live example click this link to the feed for Gizmo's Freeware: Top selections.  This particular feed is a hand compiled selection of the most interesting new content on the Gizmo site, but most RSS feeds including our own Hot Finds and Tech Tips feeds are generated automatically.

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