RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a way to automatically syndicate your content in ways that other people can easily read or aggregate it. RSS is formatted in XML which allows your feed to be published once but viewed by many different programs. If you have a blog on WordPress or Blogger (and others) or use Twitter, then you already have RSS feeds. If you subscribe to blogs using Google Reader or iGoogle, you are subscribing to the RSS feeds from these blogs.
RSS is largely invisible to most people. As I mentioned above, you may already be using RSS feeds without being aware of them. However, just knowing you have RSS feeds with various content services means you can easily use these feeds to syndicate your content to wider audiences (which we’ll discuss in the next post). To see if a webpage has an RSS feed, you can look for links which say “subscribe to this blog” or “subscribe to this website”. Sometimes the feeds will also just say “RSS” or have a icon that looks like this: A website may have a feed, but it may not be obvious – try subscribing to the website using Google Reader or iGoogle – both will try to find the feed for you.
(photo by cogdogblog @ Flickr CC)