Do you think MySpace, Facebook, and Hotmail are about as exciting as the Internet gets? Let me give you a glimpse into how RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you talk to) helps enrich my Internet experience.
Holla At Me
In my earlier web-surfing years, I would go from site, to site, to site, reading all the new articles and updates on my usual list of websites. I had them all in my browser favourites and would go down my list to see which ones had some interesting new stuff for me to go through. That proved to be time-consuming: some sites had interesting stuff, many didn’t, and some had not even been updated at all.
Now, instead of going through my favourites or bookmarks, RSS allows me to subscribe to my favourite sites and let them tell me what the newest content is. The site’s RSS feed also lets me read older content as well. This is possible by using an RSS feed reader; my reader of choice is Google Reader. It takes all of my subscriptions and puts them in one place so I can see all the updates to favourite sites at the same time — no more bouncing from site to site means I save a bunch of time. Google Reader also makes it easy for me to organize my subscriptions and even gives me statistics on my reading habits.
There are many other feed readers out there, you can try them out and see which one you like best. The coolest thing about it is, I can even read a site’s content without even going to their webpage! However, this depends on how much the site lets you read through their RSS feed, but you can always click through to the website from your feed reader.
Show Me What You Got
RSS is great for sharing stuff and opens the door to a whole new way of being social; on the web! For starters, with RSS I can share my del.icio.us bookmarks (What’s del.icio.us?), my blog posts, and stuff from my favourite websites (using Google Reader).
Shey, you’ve confused me
I don’t blame you if the whole RSS thing still doesn’t make sense, but watch this video, these guys explain it much better than I can:
Here are some links to more information about RSS and how you can use it to enhance your Internet experience:
- 35 Ways You Can Use RSS Today
- 150+ RSS Resources
- The Ultimate RSS Toolbox – 120+ RSS Resources
- What is RSS and what can it do for you?
If you already use RSS, what other ways does it help enrich your time online?
Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and questions!