RSS stands for really simple syndication or rich site summary, depending on who you ask. I think it should stand for really splendid stuff, though: it is the key to keeping up with a lot of sites, while putting in almost no effort of your own. How cool is that? Let me tell you about it.
Say you like eleventy dozen websites, and you would like to keep up with them all. Great, but who has the time to visit all those sites every day just to check for new content? Nobody, that’s who.
But there’s good news: most of the sites you love publish an RSS feed, which is all of their content in slurpable form. All you need is the software to slurp up and sort this for you, and you will have all the info you want coming to you, all put together (aggregated) in one handy place. You won’t have to go view all those websites. You’ll peek at your RSS software, see all the news collected from all of your sites. Read or ignore it, as you like, and be done with it all in minutes.
Ready to try it out? You’ll need a software program that can grab the RSS feeds from your favourite websites. There are dozens and dozens of choices for each platform. Search for something like RSS aggregator and the type of computer you use: Android, iphone, Linux, Mac, Windows, whatever.
Here’s are a couple of sample searches at DuckDuckGo:
Or of course you can go to the places where you usually find software for your phone, like f-droid or the Google Play store for Android users, or the App Store for iPhone users.
Most RSS aggregators come with a few feeds set up for you, as examples. So you might find that you are subscribed to the BBC, the New York Times, and a couple of (usually trashy, in my opinion) blogs. You can keep those, or delete those feeds.
Once you’re ready to subscribe to some sites that you like, see if there’s a search feature in your RSS software to help you find the feed. Or go to a site you like, and look around for information about its RSS feeds.
If you are reading a WordPress blog, like this one, just append /feed after the site’s URL. So for mirabilis.ca, you would tell your RSS aggregator to subscribe to http://mirabilis.ca/feed/
If you try out RSS and see how it works for you, you might find that the convenience of RSS will have you hooked for life.