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Putting the “Simple” in Real “Simple” Syndication

Since the technology’s inception, there’s been quite a bit of irony in the term Real Simple Syndication (RSS).  For most its been difficult to explain and/or understand what RSS can do and how it can be used, and moreover what exactly makes it “simple”.

As a matter of fact, until just recently, the majority of web visitors would click on an RSS button and be confronted with a page full of code, which often left them quickly searching for the back button, or they would close their browser window thinking they had done something terribly wrong to have such a confusing mess of code on their screen. The fact of the matter is until some new tools hit the market users had to be advanced and have a separate RSS reader installed and configured on their computer – an extra step many users simply weren’t comfortable with, or wanted indulge in.

For those of you that are still wondering exactly what an RSS feed is – it’s essentially a dynamic bookmark. Think of it in this capacity; ten years ago we book marked websites that we liked but then we had to proactively return to those sites to seek out new and updated content. Today, we can click on an RSS feed and “subscribe” to the site’s content with ease and new content from that site will automatically be pushed to our computer. So, rather than visiting CNN ever few hours, RSS allows us to automatically receive updates.

With that in mind, as predicted, with the release of Internet Explorer 7, the growth of Firefox, and Vista’s arrival in the marketplace, RSS feeds for PC users are finally becoming what they were originally intended to be: Simple. These new programs are increasingly making it easy for consumers to click on a feed and subscribe to its content in just a few simple clicks. (For Mac OSX users, the power of RSS feeds have been known for some time as the built-in Safari browser and the Dashboard utility allow users to easily navigate RSS Feeds out of the box.)

More on the Web:
RSS Marketing Feed Frenzy from Entrepreneur Magazine

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