Adhesives Magazine

RSS, Explained

July 23, 2008

Anyone who spends any time on the Internet knows that there is loads of information scattered throughout the web – on websites, blogs and other destinations. While surfing the web can be an amusing way to pass the time, if you’re looking for specific information or updates, it can be quite cumbersome and time consuming.

In the ‘old days,’ you could keep track of updates on a website by bookmarking the sites in your browser and then manually returning to them to see whether new content had been added. However, it can be tedious to check all your bookmarks and, many times, you might miss out on an update if you don’t regularly check the sites.

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, an XML format that was created to syndicate news and to be a way of sharing content on the Internet. It’s a technology that is being used by millions worldwide to keep track of their favorite websites. 

RSS offers a ‘news feed’ of sorts that you subscribe to. It’s similar to subscribing to a magazine, in that the latest updates are delivered to you. However, instead of arriving in your mailbox or at your door each month, the updates are delivered to your RSS Reader as a list of headlines. If you want to read more about an update, simply click on the headline for the entire report.

To subscribe to a website or blog’s RSS, simply click on the orange RSS button, or a text link of the words “Subscribe to our RSS feed” on the website. For example, on our homepage, you’ll see an orange RSS button next to the heading ‘Breaking News’ on the right-hand side. Click on it, and you’ll be brought to a page with a list of the RSS feeds we offer from our website. Click on one, and you’ll see the RSS feed for it, along with a note at the top of the page that allows you to subscribe to it using several different RSS readers. There is no charge to use an RSS feed.

The best way to learn more about an RSS feed is to try it out – sign up for a reader, then start subscribing (may we suggest to the ASI feeds?). Most feeds have help sections that are quite helpful in case your run into any snags.

Happy reading!