What is RSS
RSS is an abbreviation of Really Simple Syndication (Or Rich Site Summary in a previous version) which means a standard for disseminating content on the Internet. By means of the standards, sites can pass on information to the surfers on the basis of interests, dates if special keywords even if they aren’t currently surfing in these sites.
Instead of entering dozens of sites daily and wading through mountains of information, one can receive all the updates via RSS feed readers which one can download free of charge on the net, or via the browser itself (depending on the web browser and the version)
RSS information is divided into two main types of units: channel and item. The definitions of the channel generally describe the source of information. In most cases, the original site from which the information arrives. Every piece of information, event or detail is assigned an item. The RSS standards are conceived so that every item includes information about the issue date and its expiration date.
How Does it Work?
The owner of the website decides what information he wants to disseminate and he publishes them on the site in RSS format. The surfer who is interested in receiving information from the site, marks the information channels in which he is interested and by installing software or via some of the browsers, the information reaches him without his having to surf the site again and again and check whether there are updates to the information that interests him.
How Does One Use It?
In the first stage -- one should download a program capable of reading the information channels and saving them on the computer. Explorer from version 7 onwards as well as the Firefox browser already include this option. Below is a partial lists of programs which can be downloaded free of charge:
The second stage -- one should define the desired information channels within the site. One performs this selection by clicking on the icon denoting the information channel below is a list of the possible information channels:
The third stage -- viewing the information. The program automatically examines whether there are updates on the site, and if so it downloads the updates to the surfer's computer. All he has to do is to view the information channel without any need to surf the site again.
For Further information
Below are a number of links for additional information on the topic of RSS:
The entry in Wikipedia
Hanan Cohen, The RSS Revolution and Social Change, on the “Captain Internet” site
RSS: a Standard for Dissemination and Content Sharing on the Internet, on the Helmo e-mail site
An article by Ran Yaniv Hartstein on the Naana site on December 21, 2006