A large amount of information is generated on the internet every day. When we start expanding our interests and news resources, this can become overwhelming. How do we keep up with all the information? Which tools can we use to filter all the information?
One strategy for receiving and reviewing information in a more efficient way, without visiting each web site individually on a regular basis, is subscribing to content feeds. Many websites give their users the ability to subscribe to their content by what is called a “feed:“ A feed could be described as a stream of information over the internet.
The main purpose of an RSS feed is to provide users with an easy way to subscribe to web content. Instead of visiting a website over and over again to see if there‘s an update, users can receive a notification, a summary or even the full text of an article once the new content is available.
Subscribing means that you will receive the content on, and read it in, a single place on your computer.
RSS feeds make your life a lot easier when it comes to information on web. RSS feeds are one of the most popular news feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a web feed format used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.
Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the user’s time by helping him/her decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net.
Whether it is about the weather, new music, software upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updates site learn about the latest as soon as it comes out. Makes it easy to monitor a huge amount of sources without missing updates, e.g. Blogs which are not updated too frequently. Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently. Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked questions on why she/he is unsubscribing and then the user would be asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you have to do is to delete the RSS feed from your aggregator. Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails.
Unlike emails, the initiative is driven by the receipient, who has subscribed to the feed. The provider can‘t choose his readers
User preferences vary: Some users prefer receiving email updates over an RSS feed.
Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds. For conciseness and ease of publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for some web-based aggregators.
Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they would not know the reasons why users unsubscribe which could be important in improving their dissemination strategy.
RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server. Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.
Feed readers are web or desktop applications that allow you to easily add, read and organize subscriptions. There are a range of these applications available. They are also often incorporated into other software applications such as web browsers or e-mail clients (outlook). There is also a news reader from google.
iGoogle allows you to choose the things that you find useful or fun on a web search page of your own. It offers the ability to create a personalised iGoogle page that gives you at-a-glance access to information from Google and across the web. On this self-designed page, you can choose and organise content such as: - Your Gmail email account- Headlines from Google News and other news sources- Weather forecasts, stock quotes, and movie showtimes- Bookmarks for quick access to your favorite sites from any computer- Your own section with content you find from across the web-Google Book SearchBefore completing any of the tasks below, you’ll need to start a Google account using an email address and password, just go to the “sign in” link at the top right of the google home page and you will find the link to get your account.
40,000 iGoogle widgets available
This Dashboard automatically updates every time you open it
Brown Bag Lunch on RSS Feeds and Personlized Websites
Brown Bag Lunch
28 October 2010
It saves on surfing time.
Receive the latest updates of a huge amount of sources, e.g.
blogs, newspaper articles, forums, etc
The provider does not need to manage an email/contact list
of his readers
You as the user have the power of subscription
- easy to “unsubscribe“ (delete RSS feed)
It is spam free.
Anonymity - the reader does not have to reveal that s/he is
The provider can‘t choose his
Some users prefer receiving
email updates over an RSS feed.
Graphics and photos do not
appear in all RSS feeds.
RSS feeds create higher traffic
and demands on the server.
It’s hard to know how many
people read your webfeed.
“A piece of software or
online service that
receives and displays
multiple web feeds of
syndicated web content
such as news headlines or
Reading your news feeds
with an aggregator
An aggregator could be
• a website displaying the latest
headlines from multiple other news
• a feed reader application that a user
downloads to run on their computer
to enable them to subscribe to, and
view, RSS feeds of the latest content
from multiple websites without
having to visit each website in turn.
• Some emails systems also have
RSS feeds integrated
• You can also read feeds in your
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WhatIsRSS.com, “What is RSS? RSS explained” (http://www.whatisrss.com)
Wikipedia, “Aggregator” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggregator)
CNET Reviews, “How to: Read RSS feeds” (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10088_7-5143460-1.html)
C. Sherman, SearchEngineWatch.com, 2005, “Choosing an RSS reader”
PCWorld, 2003, “RSS - Get the News and Information You Choose” (http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,111699-
Software Garden “What is RSS? - A basic tutorial introduction to RSS feeds and aggregators for non-technical people"
Six Apart, “About feeds” (http://www.sixapart.com/about/feeds)
J. Patton, EzineArticles.com, 2005, “The Advantages of RSS Websites” (http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Advantages-Of-RSS-
D. Nations, About.com, “How To Use Firefox Live Bookmarks” (http://webtrends.about.com/od/webfeedsyndicationrss/a/firefox-
Microsoft, “RSS Feeds - The information you care about, delivered right to Internet Explorer 7”
BBC News – Basics about using news feeds http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10628494
IIED - Change at hand - Web 2.0 for Development, p. 115-116 http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/14563IIED.pdf
RSS Feeds in Plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english
Information Streams: http://www.slideshare.net/PARCInc/recommending-content-
News on feeds:
RSS feeds and news aggregates: http://www.slideshare.net/dcannell/open-house-
Why use RSS feeds to syndicate news content:
Top 10 Personal webpages: