Warning: Once you try RSS you’ll never go back and wonder how you ever lived without it.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and it is a technology that delivers frequently-updated content from around the web to you in one, convenient location — your feed reader. RSS is not only revolutionizing the way news, media and content creators share information, but it also is changing the way everyday users are consuming information.
RSS Feeds allow you to keep up-to-date with your favorite blogs and websites in a single place. Rather than checking each site individually for updates, RSS feeds provide a single point of contact for viewing the newest blog entries and website updates. Subscribing to RSS feeds is the best way to stay up to date with any topic you want to follow.
Most websites have at least one RSS feed you can subscribe to. Look at the websites you visit for these common icons that indicate an RSS feed is available:
To learn more about RSS feeds and feed readers, check out this excellent 3.5-minute video from Common Craft: RSS Feeds in Plain English.
Note: This video shows Google Reader which is no longer available. The concepts are the same for all RSS readers.
Benefits of RSS Feeds and Feed Readers
- Stay informed by receiving the newest content from your chosen websites.
- Save time by viewing updates in one location, rather than visiting each site individually.
- Easily access the original blog post, article, or news item: each item in the reader links directly to that item on the source website.
- Free your email inbox from notifications and newsletters.
- Access your feeds from any computer or mobile device with a web-based feed reader.
This week’s Discovery Exercises focus on learning about RSS news feeds and setting up a Feedly account (a free online newsreader) for yourself to bring your feeds together.
- How to Guide for Feedly RSS Reader
- Create a free online Feedly account for yourself.
(* Requires a Google account. Another option is Bloglines if you don’t have nor want a Google account.)
- Subscribe to at least 3 things such as:
- Blogs of your fellow Learn Camp participants.
- Here are a few good training blogs worth subscribing to:
- Other types of feeds:
- Leave a comment on this post about this exercise answering these questions: (Or even better, write a blog post about it!)
- Did you previously use an RSS reader?
- What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
- How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work or personal life?