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Sunday, January 07, 2007

RSS: What I Think It Is And What It Does For Me And My Blog.

I am hoping that this post will be useful to some readers. Please bear in mind that this is my account of RSS with relevance to blogging.

RSS- With an orange logo that reminds me of the old supermarket chain Fine-Fare, it appears on many websites these days. Most of us have heard of it or read about it, some of us even know the secret of what it is! Explaining it however, is a bit tricky. Following Robert's recent successful series of posts, I am going to bit the bullet and give it ago.

RSS- What does it stand for?
There is no particular rule as to what the letters RSS actually stand for. Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary are two possible meanings listed on the wiki-pedia page. For now, I am not interested in this as it really means nothing to me. If you can just imagine RSS is the name, a word.

RSS- How is it formed?
Let's start with how is RSS formed. The internet is packed jammed full of information. Much of this information is updated on an hourly, daily or weekly basis etc. When I say updated, I mean that something on that web page has changed. Let's look at blogs as a particular example. You will know from reading my blog, that I update it on a daily or weekly basis. This depends on whether I have something I want to share with others. When I update my blog with a post I have written, it produces what we call RSS.

So the question is still with us. Here goes......

Imagine my blog is a radio station, probably a very boring one at that. Every time I write a post, this radio Station (my blog) broadcasts it via radiowaves (RSS). You will only be able to receive these radio waves if you have some kind of Radio, i.e. receive notification that my blog has been updated. This Radio is call an RSS reader or Aggregator, I.e. Bloglines or Netvibes. These are simple accounts that are very easy to setup and use. You can see a screen shot of a Netvibes account here.

Now let's think about it on a wider scale of things. Each blog transmits its own RSS, its own radio waves, to our radio (RSS reader). If we program our radio (RSS reader) to receive the radio waves (RSS) from our chosen radio stations (blogs), we can see them all at the same time.

I.e. I have all the blogs that you can see listed below, on the right, in my RSS reader account. When I log into my account, I can see which ones have new posts. This saves me time as I don't need to click through all of them to see if there are any new posts. My Radio (RSS reader) has done it for me!

Ok, this is one of my understandings of RSS. I have no idea whether this will make the slightest bit of sense; I have let my imagination take over here.

I am more than happy to elaborate on anything I have mentioned.

Please feel free to beat me with comments. Be kind :(


At Tuesday, 09 January, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aghaaa the dreaded rss is finally explained! - i always wondered what the 70's orange was all about... cheers

ps. love the fine fare logo
sharon gallagher


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