Notion of RSS: Feeds, Aggregators and Feed URL
Now we live in the digital age and the age of information. There are tons of useful and not so useful data. Different information is available for us around the clock, and we cannot read it all. But some topics are more suitable for us than others ones and we want to be informed about different innovations and updates in this particular field. Fortunately, there is a solution that will help people to keep track of every change.
Rather often while searching some information on the Internet or reading the latest news on different websites, you notice a strange orange or blue icon and the button ‘Subscribe via RSS’. What is this supposed to mean? What is RSS and free RSS feed reader?
Now imagine that every day you read news on one particular site or you have several such sites with interesting news all over the world. But sometimes you look through the website pages and understand that there is no new information and you just waste your time. In order to avoid such a situation, RSS is used.
What is RSS?
It is an abbreviation for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. It is a kind of XML formats. The main goal of RSS is to describe newsfeeds, blog changes, various announcements and so on. In other words, it shows all updated information of a certain site that is interesting for you.
In the case of any modifications and updates, the visitors are able to subscribe to RSS feeds (a list of notifications about any update) to simplify the process of their interaction with the site. It somehow resembles the subscription to a magazine or newspaper but you will be able to see the updates online through RSS feeds. But do not forget about a feed reader that is necessary for reading RSS feeds.
How does RSS feed work?
Everything is pretty simple. Feeds are the series of short summaries of various news that are published on some website. In such a way, you can monitor all updates gathered in one list, look through the headlines and select the articles that you want to read. RSS aggregator is a special program that is used for getting access to the required RSS feeds. This is an automated process. Rather often feeds are called RSS channels, while aggregators - RSS readers.
What is RSS aggregator?
RSS aggregators are automatically searching for any updates. You can enter the URL addresses of the website that you are interested in. The aggregators can also suggest you several recommended sources. They do all dirty work instead of you. With their help, you should not read over and over again different websites with the aim of finding new information. RSS readers provide you with all modified and new data in one convenient file. In general, feeds look like an ordinary web page.
There are two types of RSS aggregators:
1. web-based aggregators (usually, it is a web app),
2. software aggregators (a separate program that can be implemented to the web browser).
Both these types of aggregators share one common goal. It is to get the updates from every website that user has marked as interesting for him.
If the feature of RSS feed is implemented, then you will see a special icon if the browser that you use is able to detect RSS automatically. The peculiarities of RSS icon depend on the web browser. For instance, in Opera, Internet Explorer and Firefox, this will be an orange square. If you use Safari, then it will be a blue rectangle.
What is RSS in an email?
The general idea remains the same but you will be able to get RSS feeds directly to your email inbox. To have this feature enables, you should just input your email address in a special form on the desired website. And that is it. Of course, you can get a big number of messages every day and this way of keeping track of updates does not seem to be convenient. Nevertheless, you can use special filters to distribute letters between different folders, for example, ‘news’, ‘promo’, ‘work’, etc.
Besides that, if you are the owner of a blog and have to add the feature of RSS to email to your website, you should get a special URL address of RSS feed. How to find it? There are several possible ways.
● Firstly, you should have a look at HTML of your page. The way to see it depends on the browser that you use. But in most cases, you should click Page Source on the View menu. After that, you will see the HTML code of the page.
● Secondly, in order to find RSS among the line codes, push Ctrl+F or if you have MacBook - Command+F. Your feed URL will be shown after tag ‘href’.
But If the page has RSS feed, then the icon will be shown in the address bar. Click this icon and you will be redirected to URL of RSS feed. It can be used as feed RSS.
Now, let us summarize a little the above-mentioned information. So, what is the difference between feed URL and RSS feed and RSS feed aggregator?
● Feed URL - the URL address of feed.
● RSS feeds - a scope of all updates recently made on the website. They include a title and brief summary of the article.
● RSS feed aggregator - a program that finds, gathers and provides the feeds to subscribers.
And one more item you should know about.
What is an RSS feed subscriber?
It is a site visitor who has subscribed to RSS feeds of one or several websites that provide different information.
On the Internet, you are able to find even a top RSS feeds list. Feeds can be combined according to the topic, for example, science, autos, travelling, politics, etc. Also you can find a list of most subscribed feeds. There are no doubts that such feeds are very interesting and useful.
Some applications for RSS feeds are developed. With their help, you can read feeds on your mobile device, change the app interface configuration, add particular articles to your notebook or something like that.
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