What is RSS?

Monday, January 30, 2006

What is RSS and How Will It Benefit Me?

(This article follows upon the illuminating 2004 article by Andy Carvin, "What is RSS and Why Should I Care?")

RSS - really simple sydnication -- is a labor-saving tool that allows people to tune into news sources that interest them. The news source could be a blog, a podcast, a videocast or any web site that includes RSS feeds.

The value of RSS accrues when you subscribe to multiple RSS feeds. You can then monitor multiple information streams with a minimum of effort.

There are many different software tools for subscribing to RSS feeds. One of the most popular is a web site named Bloglines. Some web browsers let you subsribe to RSS feeds. Safari 2.x and Firefox are two browsers that do. Firefox lets you to subscribe to RSS feeds using something called Live Bookmarks. You can also use a Firefox extension named Sage to subscribe to RSS feeds.

RSS's primary value is that it brings information to you without you having to visit multiple web sites. In a knowledge economy, anything that streamlines the flow of information from producer to consumer gives benefit to both producer and consumer. You tune into the information you do want, and tune out the information you don't want.

Some Examples of How RSS Simplifies Peoples' Lives

(Your ideas and suggestions needed here. Send to Phil Shapiro, pshapiro@him. The subject of your email should be: RSS benefits)