What is RSS? What’s a Feed? What’s a Channel?

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While human beings can view HTML, in order for software platforms to consume content, it must be in a readable format. The format that’s the standard online is RSS and when you publish your latest posts in this format, it’s called your feed. With a platform like WordPress, your feed is automatically generated and you don’t have to do a thing.

Imagine you could strip out all of your site’s design elements and just feed content to another site or application. That’s exactly what RSS was invented for!

What does RSS stand for?

Most people believe the term RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication but it was orginally penned Rich Site Summary… and originally RDF Site Summary.

What is RSS?

RSS is a web-based document (typically called a feed or web feed) that is published from a source – referred to as the channel. The feed includes full or summarized text, and metadata, like publishing date and author’s name.

This is a short video from the folks over at TechNewsDaily explaining how users can take advantage of Really Simple Syndication (RSS):

Why should you care?

RSS feeds can be utilized with platforms like Feedly where users subscribe to the channels they wish to read on a frequent basis. The feed reader notifies them when there’s updated content and the user can read it without ever visiting the site! As well, feeds can be used to syndicate your content on other websites (we show our articles on the DK New Media site and Corporate Blogging Tips), or can be used to feed your social media channels using platforms like FeedPress, Buffer, or TwitterFeed.

Oh – and don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS Feed!


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      Woohoo! You’ve been so patient, Christine. I tend to get more and more technical with my posts. I figured that it was time to slow down and help some folks catch up.

      When you’re a geek mired in this stuff, it’s hard to remember not everyone else knows what you’re talking about!

      One last note on RSS. Imagine stripping down this page to simply the words and pictures in the article… with all the other superfluous items removed. That’s what the post looks like in an RSS feed!

      I recommend Google Reader!

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    One of the things of my long to-do-list was to ask Douglas to write a little explanation of what RSS actually is.

    Thanks for that pre-emptive strike, Doug. (and inspiration for a new section in my blog, too 😉 )

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