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what is rss ?

what is rss

RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. RSS is an XML-based format for content distribution. Webmasters create an RSS file containing headlines and descriptions of specific information. While the majority of RSS feeds currently contain news headlines or breaking information the long term uses of RSS are broad.
RSS is a defined standard based on XML with the specific purpose of delivering updates to web-based content. Using this standard, webmasters provide headlines and fresh content in a succinct manner. Meanwhile, consumers use RSS readers and news aggregators to collect and monitor their favorite feeds in one centralized program or location. Content viewed in the RSS reader or news aggregator is place known as an RSS feed.
RSS is becoming increasing popular. The reason is fairly simple. RSS is a free and easy way to promote a site and its content without the need to advertise or create complicated content sharing partnerships.


Most of the terms here are explained above or below. I include them here for redundancy, clarity, and organizational purposes.
  • RSS = Really Simple Syndication = Rich Site Summary = RDF Site Summary = who cares?
  • RSS file = RSS feed = RSS channel = feed = channel
  • Atom = a format similar to RSS; like RSS the files may also be called feeds or channels
  • XML = eXtensible Markup Language = the format RSS is written in = important only because RSS may be labeled as XML
  • RDF = Resource Discovery Framework = the format of RSS version 1.0 = important only because RSS may be labeled as RDF
  • OPML = Outline Processor Markup Language = an XML format for outlines, which may be used as a way of listing many RSS feeds
  • my website is syndicated = my website produces an RSS feed
  • scraping = when Joe makes an RSS feed for Bob’s website without telling Bob; the feed is called a scraped feed
  • blog = weblog = log on the web = a journal-type website, many of which produce RSS feeds
  • RSS reader = news reader = RSS aggregator = a program that can read RSS file

Search Engines

RSS-based search engines can be quite useful; their big advantage is that they index individual items rather than pages which may contain many items. There are several good general-purpose RSS-based search engines around today

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