Friday, April 11, 2008


At first glance, RSS technology seemed a bit daunting. On the contrary, after watching the short video, RSS in Plain English on YouTube, setting up my own RSS was quite simple. In simpler terms, RSS technology brings information directly to your computer, more importantly, you get to choose what you sites to subcribe.

RSS evolved in 1999 and gained widespread acceptance by 2006. RSS is referred to as Rich Site Summary, Really Simple Syndication, a “feed” or a “web feed.” RSS is a system that collects web content, referred to as an aggregate. Organized by hyperlinks, feeds use different file types including .rss, .xml and .rdf. Similar to bookmarks or favorites on an internet browser your favorite sites are at your fingertips. Hence, up-to-date information continually feeds to your computer. One stop surfing, saving valuable time.

First things first, choose the reader of your choice. Next, open an account. Lastly, subscribe to your favorite websites. Bloglines has several lists to choose sites from, or you can enter site manually. It’s that simple. No longer are you, the end-user caught in the push-pull technology. The old way, the pull, meant that you had to seek out content but with the push technology information is sent directly to you based on whom you subscribe. (Wikipedia)

The aggregate/reader collects feeds that you, the user choose. For instance, if you are interested in breaking headline news, you can subscribe to a number of news organizations such as the BBC or CNN. You can subscribe to as many feeds as you wish. Some readers automatically delete dated feeds, keeping collections from becoming out of control. RSS is a great way to organize information. (Richardson)

“RSS is an XML text-based format that can be fed out over the internet (a process called syndication) from various sources and received by software, either stand alone on your desktop or part of your browser.” (Descy) Metadata is information that explains the link, and when new information arrives, the aggregator displays the new links with corresponding metadata.

Yahoo is one of many familiar website portals that include a reader, providing the option to choose from various RSS feeds. Plug in aggregates work inside some existing software applications. For instance, Newsgator is part of Microsoft Outloook, delivering the feeds directly to the e-mail inbox. (Descy)

The idea of adding more information to my e-mail did not appeal to me, I already have way too many messages and receiving more would defeat the purpose of RSS and organizing information. Consequently, I chose to use Bloglines because Will Richardson recommended it in his “ABCs of RSS.” Richardson offers easy to understand definitions and start up instructions. As a newbie to RSS, Bloglines sounded like the way to go. In addition, I am adding sites to my Microsoft feeds, which I like because I can switch between my “favorites” and “feeds.” I used to be unsure of the little orange icon that many websites have. Now, if I like the site I click on the icon and add the site to my feed.


Descy, D. E. (2005). Introducing RSS: Your one stop for news and information! TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 49(3), 4-6. Retrieved April 8, 2008 from Academic Search Premier.

Palser, B. (2005). News à la carte. American Journalism Review, 27(1), 58-58. Retrieved April 8, 2008 from Academic Search Premier.

Perez, J. C. (2007). Users tap RSS tools to ease info overload. (cover story). Retrieved April 8, 2008 from Academic Search Premier.

Richardson, W. (2005). The ABCs of RSS. Technology & Learning, 25(10). Retrieved April 8, 2008 from Academic Search Premier.

RSS in plain English. Commoncraft.YouTube. Retrieved April 7, 2008 from

RSS Primer: One Page Quick Introduction to RSS. Retrieved April 7, 2008 from

RSS. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 7, 2008 from


Maribel Trujillo said...

Hi Pam,

Your blog is very informative. This assignment on RSS was an eye opener to many of us in this class. It's amazing how much time we can save by subscribing to receive updates on information that interest us. Great job. :-)

afriendtoall said...

Hi, Pam
Always a winner, Girl. Your post is excellant and very informative. You have a much better grasp of the RSS thing than I do. Great job!