What is an RSS Feed and Why Should I Want it?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a family of web feed formats which have gained great popularity over the internet. We’ve all heard of “syndicated” writers and talk show hosts. This simply means their columns or television programs show up in various media outlets throughout the country, like newspapers and television channels.

RSS allows small and large websites alike to access the benefits of syndication. RSS documents are sometimes referred to as “feeds” or “channels.” Almost any media can be put into an RSS feed: blog entries, micro-blogging “tweets” in 140 characters or less from the website phenomenon, Twitter, news headlines, audio and video.

RSS feeds include full or summarized versions of text as well as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds allow a publisher to syndicate content automatically once posting it on their home site. Feeds benefit readers because they can receive timely updates from their favorite websites, for free. The updates can come via email or through a “reader.” An “RSS reader” allows a web surfer to gather a collection of feeds from many websites into one place. There are many RSS readers available. Readers will frequently check the user’s favorite channels and update all new content. I recommend the Google Reader for best compatibility with the most websites.

The universal symbol for RSS is this orange icon:

To keep up with all the latest economic wit and access the benefits of syndication, plug into the SwiftEconomics.com RSS Feed!

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One thought on “What is an RSS Feed and Why Should I Want it?

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