What is RSS – A Beginner’s Guide
That orange box scattered across cyberspace symbolises RSS.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, which to me seems a bad name. (Really simple? But I still don’t know what it means. Argh!?!*&*!)
Already happy with RSS? Then check out 101 Cheap Weekend Breaks and see how many weekends you’ve spent exploring the world…
RSS will seem simple after reading this. I promise.
Forget the internet for a second and remember the dark ages a few years ago when you read things that were in a printed format.
Newspapers were either published every day or every weekend. Magazines were often published every month and books would usually only come out once.
Most of the time you would buy one of these whenever you felt like it. If you became a big fan, then to avoid the hassle of having to go to a shop, you would subscribe. Magazines had subscription services and newspapers had child exploitation paper rounds.
Your magazine or newspaper would arrive at your door with no further effort on your part. If you ever changed your mind, then you cancelled your subscription.
This is how subscribe via email works If you type your email address into the first empty box at the end of this post and press submit, you’ll receive an email every time I publish something new. If you change your mind later, then you can click on the unsubscribe link that comes with each email. That’s it.
Back to newspapers and RSS.
However, what if you wanted to subscribe to ten, twenty or one hundred newspapers? Then your house would drown in the clutter of all that printed material and your paper boy would be crushed under the weight of it all.
You can sometimes get that feeling if you subscribe to too many blogs or websites via email.
What’s the solution?
Subscribe via RSS. It’s the equivalent of having your paperboy file all your magazines and newspapers neatly in the garden shed and be on call for 24 hours a day to run and retrieve whichever one you feel like reading. Or show you a selection of the most recent papers. Or perhaps only those with travel supplements. Whichever you want.
That’s RSS. Only it’s free and doesn’t breach employment laws.
Sounds great. But how do I subscribe using RSS?
Click on the orange button in the top right corner of this site or visit this post for step by step instructions on subscribing via RSS.
But what about feeds?
At its simplest, think of the feed as the subscription service that puts your newspapers and magazines in the garden shed.
But I don’t want all that. Can’t I just look at a website?!
Of course. There’s no need to use RSS unless you want to. Don’t be intimidated by the orange boxes! RSS simply allows you to read a lot of material online from one screen, instead of surfing to each separate site. Like using a remote control instead of getting out of your seat to change the channel each time.
Any questions on RSS? If so, drop me a line in the comments boxes below or use the contact form.