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A Brief Explanation of RSS and how you benefit from it.

Friday, November 05, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

Why do some sites display an orange icon with the letters RSS inside? It lets you know that the information that is being published on the Web is distributed to its audience online (through a mean other than email).

The most common attributed meaning to RSS is “Really Simple Syndication.” The basics go like this: When “syndicated” content is published on the Web, it is distributed as a “news feed” via a “news reader.”

The person who wishes to subscribe to the content will often already have an established “news reader” account. However, RSS icons will typically lead you to a link to sign up for a reader if you don’t already use one. Free online readers included Google Reader, My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines and Feedbucket.

The upside for those who use readers is that it gives them one place on the Web to receive updates from their favorite sites. The upside for those who publish syndicated content is that it provides a means to deliver messages to a receptive audience.

For churches and ministries, for example, providing syndicated content through RSS is a way to keep people informed and inspired. It can be used for weekly news, announcements, weather cancellations, prayer requests, sermon highlights, scripture and more. Blogs (written content) and podcasts (audio/video files) are distributed through RSS feeds.



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