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Top 10 Things You Can Do With RSS

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary. RSS is an XML technology that delivers web content to Internet users via a feed. The advantage of using RSS is that users can read highlights from many websites at the same time, without having to browse to individual sites. RSS was originally developed by Netscape and is now maintained by Harvard Law school. In the beginning, RSS was used primarily for blogs and news sites, but has grown in popularity and is a standard topic that is covered in web design schools and training.

RSS can be a powerful too to use on your blog or website. It makes it easier for readers to stay up to date on your news and posts. Since the information is fed right to their browsers, they are more likely to see what you have to say on a regular basis. To implement RSS on your website, you need to set up Simple Syndication on your site. You'll need to set up a directory for RSS, decide what to syndicate, and choose a scripting language to use. Most blog sites like WordPress and Blogger include RSS feed technology and provide support for getting started. Developer sites like Web Reference offer tools and tutorials to simplify RSS setup.

To get RSS feeds to your browser, you need to install an RSS reader. Popular readers include Bloglines , NetNewsWire , Yahoo! and Google Reader . Depending on your reader, the feeds will appear in your browser similar to a new site, with summaries and links to full articles. Most readers are specific to the computer's operating system and are designed to work in Windows, Mac or Linux. Check the specifications before downloading a RSS reader to make sure it will work with your system.

For users, there are many ways to use RSS for business, learning and entertainment, and the list continues to grow. Some of the top things you can do with RSS are:

  • Check the latest news from local, national and international sources. Check your local newspaper's website for the RSS symbol. Most newspapers and sites that provide news online offer RSS feeds. Some popular news sites include the New York Times and CNN.
  • Find the latest in music news, and even listen to music online. Sony Music provides up to date news, information and articles on top artists. VH1 offers news and links to top videos. Yahoo! Music feeds lists top albums, songs and videos.
  • Get information about higher education and schools. Get feeds about top (graphic design schools) and graduate level programs in architecture schools, business schools, design schools and other programs.
  • Keep track of weather events to be prepared for storms and plan weekend activities. Subscribe to National Weather Service alerts for information about storms and emergencies. Get weather reports and alerts from The Weather Channel. You can customize the feed for your local area, or get national weather news.
  • Stay up to speed on your favorite blogs - or find some new ones to read. Check the blogs you read regularly for the RSS symbol. Browse popular blogs at Bloglines.com, which lists postings from the top blogs in an RSS feed.
  • Get sports scores, news and information. HD Sports Guide offers high definition sports news. ESPN offers feeds by sport category. Customize the feed for NHL, NFL, auto racing, soccer, and many other sports.
  • Keep up with technology news. Check out RSS feeds from Wired and other technology news sites.
  • Find deals when you shop online. Get shopping news on your Yahoo! page with Yahoo! Shopping feeds. Find many other shopping feeds at Feedage.com.
  • Find new recipes. Get a variety of recipes in different categories, including healthy meals, baking, and entertaining at Betty Crocker. Check out food news and recipes from Rachael Ray, BigOven and Eating Well.
  • Stay up to date on your favorite TV shows and movies. Get movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and recaps of your favorite TV shows from Television Without Pity.

These are just some of the ways to use RSS. It's easy to find other sites that appeal to your interests and hobbies that offer RSS feeds. RSS can simplify your browsing life and make it easier to sort through information and find what you're looking for right away. For those doing business or providing services on the web, it's a simple and effective way to keep in touch with your customers and subscribers.

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