Thursday, May 31, 2007

What is RSS?

No, it's not Relief Society Sisters or Robb's Sweaty Sneakers. It doesn't even stand for Roaches Successfully Slaughtered or Raunchy Spider Spit--what RSS stands for, in web lingo, is Rich Site Summary (by one definition) and what it does, is just that, summarizes the Rich text of the website. Another type of feed is called Atom, which is the one on my blog which means it must be the best. But, what does RSS or Atom mean to you?
Do you have certain blogs, podcasts or headlines--even classified ads--that you check often? Typically, to check if there's been new activity on these kinds of sites, you have to log onto the website and see it for yourself. If, however, the site offers RSS or Atom and you subscribe to this, you will get an active title for the website underneath your toolbar and when you right click on it, you get a list of all the activity--up to about 20 items.
I currently have four RSS in my toolbar--Writer's in Heels (the planet I occupy with my fellow alien writers), Six LDS Writers and a Frog Blog, LDSpublisher blog (She'd Atom like me), poultry classified ads, and pet equipment. I'm in the market for Top Flight netting and a large DogLoo doghouse and I can look at the new ads placed whenever I want, without ever leaving the website I'm currently logged onto. When I see a title I want more info on, I simply click on that link and go directly to the page with the info I'm looking for. Because I live in a small town with sllllllllllllloooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww internet service, it is a huge benefit to see if new blogs have been posted without having to wait for the blog to load itself.
RSS feeds buttons are usually an orange or blue rectangle with RSS on them, by clicking on the button it will take you to a subscription page. If you agree, it adds it to your tool bar immediately. Atom feeds are usually located at the very bottom of a blog page and doesn't look like a button at all, but looks like a regular link. Click on it and you'll go through the same process of subscription. I like the RSS feed better than the Atom, as the Atom has a tendency to scramble the posts so that they aren't shown in the right order. I'm working on getting RSS on my blog--stay tuned.
I'm sure many of you already know all about this stuff, but for me it's like getting a college degree to stumble onto something all by myself and IF you knew about it, why didn't you tell me?
So, those of you that have subscribed to other feeds--which ones do you have?


Karlene said...

Oh, so that's how that works.

It's just taken me an hour, but I've figured it out and set it up for my fav blogs.

Cool. And thanks for the info.

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

Hey good lookin'!! It has been a while since I have been over. I just started reading your book "Surrounded by Strangers". I really like it!

I started out reading it to critique what kind of book you had written. I quickly became so involved that I am not objective any more!

Love it! Keep them coming!

Janette Rallison said...

Dang Josi, I don't think I've ever heard or seen RSS before. I'm still not sure what it is . . . but now I feel bad for not having it . . .