What is RSS?

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That Orange Square

on the left column of this site (called a ‘chicklet’) is the international symbol for the RSS feed.  If you click on it, you will be taken to a page that walks you though the subscription process.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  It is a ‘feed’ that you subscribe to that is instantly updated every time this website is updated.

Since we pride ourselves on being thorough here at RainmakerLawyer, we’ll give you a detailed explanation of what this means.

RSS is a technology that is being used by millions of people around the world to keep track of their favorite websites.

In the ‘old days’ of the web the only way to keep track of updates on a website was to save it to your favorites as a bookmark and to return to it regularly to see what was new.

RSS eliminates the need to keep checking back with your favorite site.  Once you ‘subscribe’ to the feed of your favorite site (subscribe means that you save the feed address in a Feed Reader) new content automatically appears in your Feed Reader once the site is updated. 

Note:  Feed Reader, News Reader and RSS Reader are all used interchangeably.  They are special websites that translate the RSS feed into readable text.

How RSS technically works is something you should look up on your own because that is beyond our ability to understand and explain.

We can tell you how to use RSS.

How to Use RSS

The first thing to do if you’re getting into reading websites via RSS is to set up an RSS Feed Reader.

There are many Feed Readers out there with a variety of features.  Start with a free version that is web-based.  Two easy-to-use, web-based Feed Readers are Google Reader and Bloglines.

Both of these RSS Feed Readers work like email. As you subscribe to feeds you’ll see that unread entries from the sites you’re tracking will be marked as bold. As you click on them you’ll see the latest update.  You can read it right there in the Feed Reader. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item - marking the last one as ‘read’.

The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is to simply subscribe to some feeds and learn as you go. Both have good help sections to get you up and running.

Again, if you click on the orange square on the left column of our site, you will be taken to a page that will walk you through this process.