All you need to know about RSS

All you need to know about RSS

What does RSS mean?

RSS may mean three different things. The original RSS (RDF

Site Summary RSS 0.9) was developed by Dan Libby for Netscape. After a couple
of months, they produced a simpler and easier-to-use version called Rich Site
Summary or RSS 0.91. But they later lost interest, leaving it without an owner.
As more and more users were using RSS, Winer made an
adapted version of RSS 0.91 for Userland, claiming it
as his own. Later in 2005, Microsoft developed Really Simple Syndication in
relation to its Simple Sharing Extensions.

What is RSS?

RSS is a XML file format for syndicating content and news in

the web. It is usually used by websites that constantly need to update their
content regularly such as news websites (CNN, BBC and Reuters) and weblogs. Since it essentially gives one’s webpage
more traffic, it is now more widely used in marketing, web publications and
virus reports. Today, large and small websites alike are usually RSS-enabled.

For example, you’re an avid fan of baseball and you

want to share something recent about one of the players. Other than content,
you can also attach multimedia files, like videos or pictures. By using RSS
feeds, other Internet users subscribed to RSS-enabled sites can read your
“headline” for free. They can also track for changes and updates
using news aggregators, which will be discussed later on.

How does RSS work?

To be able to use RSS, you first have to download a software

(content management system), by which XML format can be read. The title and,
excerpt of the article, and a link to the full article are shown. Other than
just text, you can also insert multimedia files in RSS feeds like pictures,
videos, mp3s and others. Broadcatching, picturecasting, photocasting, and
podcasting are some features you can incorporate into
your feed, but will not be discussed in this article.

For users to access a RSS feed, they need to use an

aggregator or a feed reader. An aggregator searches for updates on RSS-enabled webpages then displays it. It can either be a standalone
program or a web browser extension, depending on your operating system. Search
engines for web content broadcasted over RSS feed are also available such as Plazoo and Feedster.

How can I make an RSS feed?

It is definitely easier to make an RSS feed if you know

HTML. If not, you could sign up for a blog (there are
hundreds out there), some of which automatically creates RSS. If you’re
using a personal webpage building system, you need to understand more about
RSS. Making an RSS feed from scratch is relatively easy.

A RSS feed should always contain an “item”,

whichever version of RSS you might use. If you wrote about a recent event in
your city or a book review, the contents of this article can form an item. An
item is essentially composed of three things: a title, its description, and
link (where they can find your webpage). In choosing a title and description,
use something that will describe the web content best. Although it will be
easier for you, it doesn’t follow that the title tag of your webpage and
the item title are the same.

An item will look like HTML tags. First, you need to put an

opening channel tag that defines it as an XML file. Then, label the tag as an
item by putting <item> after the channel tag. After this, you can now
insert the three essentials of your item: <title>, <description>,
and <link>. Just like HTML, we need to close the tag by writing
</channel> and </rss> at the bottom.

An RSS feed that contains multiple tags looks like this:



<rss version="2.0">



<title>Anne Rice’s
Belinda: A Book Review</title>

<description> If you

haven’t read any Anne Rice books yet, you will be greeted with shocking
romantic relationships forming between unlikely characters…


http://allaboutbookreviews.com/belinda </link>


<title>Harry Potter IV:
Darker with More Deaths</title>

<description> The recently

released Harry Potter installation has proved dark for its younger

<link> http://allaboutbookreviews.com/harrypotterandthehalfbloodprince




Now, if you’re still having a hard time understanding

these tags, look for HTML tags tutorial to further grasp the concept. Have fun!

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