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Ask The Techspert: What is an RSS feed?

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In this age of information overload, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest news and updates from your favorite websites and blogs. And that is where RSS feeds come in handy. RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a technology that allows websites to share their latest content with subscribers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what RSS feeds are, how they work, and why they’re important.

What is an RSS Feed?

An RSS feed is a way for websites to share their latest content with subscribers. It’s essentially a file containing headlines, summaries, and links to the latest articles or blog posts. To access these content bits, also called ‘feed,’ shared by websites, subscribers use an RSS reader. This tool collects and displays the latest content from all of the websites they’ve subscribed to in one place. It also facilitates the discovery of different RSS channels to subscribe to. With an RSS reader, it is easy to keep up with the latest news and updates from various websites without visiting them.

How does an RSS Feed work?

When a website publishes new content, it’s automatically added to its RSS feed. This feed is then made available to subscribers who have signed up to receive updates through their RSS reader. Most RSS readers allow you to organize your channels, or websites’ feeds, into folders, enabling you to group related websites and browse their latest content with ease. 

RSS readers can be apps, websites, and browser extensions. They are free to use and only cost money if you want more upgraded features. Subscribing to various websites’ RSS feeds is also free. You can find the best free RSS readers in this article published on the MakeUseOf website.

Why is RSS Feed important?

From a consumer’s perspective, RSS feeds are essential because they allow you to keep up with the latest news and updates from your favorite websites in one place. They are especially useful to busy professionals who only have time to quickly scan the latest headlines and decide which articles or blog posts they want to read in full. Basically, RSS feeds save time and ensure you never miss an important update.

From a website owner’s perspective, RSS feeds are also important because by making their content available through an RSS feed, they can reach a wider audience and attract new readers. A great example would be news aggregators that collect and share content from multiple sources. In a nutshell, if your website includes an RSS feed, it has the potential to be seen by a much larger audience.

Case study: Senior Planet’s RSS Feed.

Did you know that Senior Planet now has an RSS feed? I keep up with the latest updates from the Senior Planet website using an RSS reader browser extension that also has a website. The picture below shows how easy it is to keep up with the updates from my favorite websites, including Senior Planet. 🙂

Ask the Techspert: What is RSS feed? picture.

A platform that makes great use of RSS feeds is Flipboard. If you have a Flipboard account, click here to follow the Senior Planet channel, add us to your favorites, and stay updated with our latest content.

Senior Planet from AARP flipboard.

Thank you for reading! Leave a comment below with any questions or input you might have!

Jonathan-Techspert-techTechspert Jonathan is Senior Planet’s Sr. Digital Community Relations and Product Specialist and a former Senior Planet San Antonio technology trainer. He is also an iOS developer with a background in Information Systems and Cyber Security.

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