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What is rss?RSS - which most people agree stands for type or paste in the web address of your‘Really Simple Syndication’ is a way of favourite website or blog. If it produces a feed,publishing content in an open format which Reader will find it and start importing thecan be easily republished on other websites content for you. If it doesn’t produce a feed,and in apps. then Reader will try and create one for you, by analysing the site’s content. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t!One of the most common uses of RSS is forwebsites that are regularly updated - such as anews site, or a blog.As well as the version of the website that yousee when you visit it in a browser, the site alsogenerates a machine-readable version of the You can build up your subscriptions andmost recent content, called the RSS ‘feed’. organise them into folders and tags to help youThis is then used to display the content in keep track of them. If something is worthother places. revisiting later, you can star it for future reference, or share it with others. This latter RSS readers action adds the article to a public web page with all your shared items on it, which you canA great use and example of the use of RSS promote if you wish, or just use as a personalfeeds is with an aggregator or reader. This is scrapbook.an app that lets you collect a whole load offeeds into one place. The point of doing this is Other usesthat rather than checking lots of websites tosee if they have new content on them, you can You can also use RSS feeds to add contentcheck them all in one go - a terrific time saver! from other websites onto your own. For example, if you run a local community website,Probably the easiest way to start using an you could have the local news from the BBCaggregator is to have a play with Google published automatically on your site, throughReader. You’ll need to visit google.com/reader RSS.and login with your Google account details(probably a Gmail account). If you don’t have If you produce web content yourself, it is aone, you’ll need to create one. really good idea to ensure that it is available as an RSS feed. It makes it really easy for othersYour Reader page will look pretty empty to to keep a track of it, and means you can easilybegin with, but it’s easy to start to populate it. make the content available in other mediums,Just click the ‘Add a subscription’ button and such as in social networks like Twitter and Facebook, or even email. This quick guide was put together by Kind of Digital.We provide strategic advice, training and technical development to help organisations open up and make the most of the web - including social media tools like RSS! Find out more at kindofdigital.com or follow us on Twitter - @kindofdigital Published under creative commons - feel free to redistribute and edit, but not for commercial gain.
A one page guide explaining what RSS is to people who are completely new to it.