RSS Feed –What Is It and What Can It Do for Me?

Technology and Tools, Tips & Tutorials / Thursday, August 31st, 2006

You probably have seen an RSS, (Real Simple Syndication) link on many web sites, and like me until recently, probably never thought twice about what it was and what it does. You are not alone only about 2% of web user use RSS feeds.

What is it?

The definition from Wikipedia is RSS is a type of web feed. What that means is when you sign up for a RSS feed from a web site you will get an alert from your feed reader anytime their is a new post or announcement on the site. Feed readers come in a number of forms. There are web based readers and can be accessed via your browser, desktop based and require that you download and install a program onto your computer, integrated readers which may be added on to certain Internet software or as part of the standard program. This page has a concise definition with links to different readers.

My First Time

I was first introduced to RSS when I ordered my new Macbook. It was shipping from China and I wanted to keep up to date with its progress to Bridgewater. Checking the Fed ex site every few hours, (yes I know it sounds obsessive but I couldn’t wait for it to come), and logging in the tracking # got old fast. I found they had a universal package tracker with a RSS feed. Once I downloaded a feed reader and subscribed to the feed, every time my Macbook moved closer to be my feed updated.

What It Does for Me

After the success with the package tracking I signed up with CBC to get regular updates from their news site. You can get updates from eBay, your favourite blog posts, and from Etsy stores without actually logging on to their site.

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