Understanding RSS and Aggregators

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a tool useful for saving or retaining updated information on websites that you visit a lot or websites that are important to you. RSS utilizes an XML code which scans continuously the content or subject matter of a certain website in search of updated information then sends the updates by way of feeding the information to your subscribers.

RSS feeds are generally being used in blogs or news sites, though any website wanting to broadcast and publish information can utilize them. Once new information is sent, it will contain a headline, a little bit of text, and either a rundown or a brief review of the news or story. The subscriber will need to click the RSS feed link to read further.

To accept RSS feeds, a feed reader is needed. This is named a feed aggregator. Aggregators are widely available on the internet, and all that is needed is a little searching. You will be able to find a certain interface that best suits you. What’s more, RSS feeds can also be read and retrieved from cell phones and on PDAs.

Once you find a website that you want to add into the aggregator, the process can be completed in two ways. Almost all sites offering an RSS feed will display an “RSS” or “XML” button in their homepage and with one click, it promptly adds that particular feed to one’s aggregator. Some aggregators however, require you to copy and then paste the URL of the feed into the program.

Whichever the method you use, you can be certain that the feed will be accessible as soon as you have inserted it, likewise, in a matter of seconds, the next update can arrive. Should you no longer want to read updates from a particular web site, you may simply delete the feed from the aggregator.

Through e-mail subscriptions, you can read newsletters. RSS feeds on the other hand, can be more convenient in keeping up with newsletter updates since they are prompt and available immediately; you no longer have to wait for a particular day to obtain a news summary. In addition, the news will never be detained by a spam blocker.

RSS feeds are used every day by people who understand and appreciate the accessibility of fast reports and news that can be easily read and they generally only read updates that appeal to them.

Aggregators

Aggregators are popular in the use of feeds, and come in having several kinds. Web aggregators or portals as they are sometimes called, create a view which is made available in a web page. Nowadays, aggregators have been incorporated into e-mail programs, and other forms of dedicated software.

Aggregators offer a whole host of special features, such as combining more related feeds into a single view, hiding certain entries or statements that have already been read, and classifying entries and feeds, into specific folders.

Why make a feed available?

Your site visitors can receive your latest update without even having to visit your web pages. While at first, it may seem corrupt, it will in fact improve the visibility of your web site. This is because subscribers can easily keep track with your site, allowing them to view it any time they want to, whether on the bus, in the doctors waiting room or at the office. Also, RSS feeds keeps your site in the mind of your subscribers, as they get updates each time you update your web site.

For instance, every week your site broadcasts a new feature. Having no feed, your subscribers will have to remember to visit your web site to see if they discover something new. That is, if they remember to and they have the time. However, if you supply a feed for your subscribers, they can just open their aggregator and it will immediately provide them with a link and a description of events at your web site.

Which format should I choose?

Syndication is very confusing as it utilizes a lot of formats. However, this can be easily solved as in general, syndicated libraries are used by aggregators which conceptualize a certain format that a feed is in, in order that they can utilize a specific syndication feed.

With this knowledge, the format is just a matter of personal taste. RSS 1.0 is far reaching, and practical should it be utilized in Semantic Web Systems. RSS 2.0 is simple to create by hand and Atom is an IETF Standard, which brings consistency, stability and an accepted community to support its usage.