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The benefits of using RSS
22 May 2007


During the past few years a new web technology has been gaining in popularity - RSS. Really Simple Syndication is a data feed format used to publish digital content in a standard way. RSS is especially popular on blogs and news sites which are frequently updated with new content.

By subscribing to an RSS feed of a particular site the user doesn't have to check that site as often, or at all, for new content. All site news are brought to the user via his RSS reader. This is especially useful if you are regularly checking many sites to see if they have been updated with new content. With RSS your reader does that for you and downloads the news if there are any. This saves time, effort, and bandwidth.

The other main benefit of using RSS feeds is that they are free of spam, viruses, and are more private. Unlike email newsletters, the user is in total control of unsubscribing and does not have to reveal any private information, like an email address in order to subscribe to a feed. There is no reliance on some other party to remove you from the feed.

There are two types of RSS feeds: partial and full. Full feeds deliver the whole news item, while partial feeds deliver only a headline and typically the first few sentences of the news item.

I implemented a full RSS feed for this site (see the orange icon on the top right) a few months ago and it's working nicely. So if you'd like to stay more current and be notified on every news item as soon as I wrote it - subscribe to my RSS feed.

In contrast with my newsletter, which I send out about once a month and is a collection of recent news, the RSS feed will bring you the latest news item as soon as I update my website with it. So if you set your RSS reader to check for news once daily, you'll get the news item the same day I wrote it. Some email clients have a built-in RSS reader, so check your email software for RSS capability. For more information check RSS explained and if you are not sure about which reader to use RSS readers.


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