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Feed yourself with Really Simple Syndication

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows you to collect information from other websites that offer you the ability to transfer that information to a place where you can view it. To collect this information, we use what is known as an aggregator (of which there are many). An aggregator allows you - the reader - to keep up-to-date with current events, the weather, the news, music or any other information that is syndicated by the host of the website. It further offers you the convenience of receiving information from a number of different sites without having to visit the actual site. Many sites today offer this feature.

Most sites will have some kind of link showing you what information or pages within the site may be collected through RSS. You can also search the site with the key word RSS if you are unsure. Typically they are pages where information changes on a regular basis.

Fundamentally, RSS is a technology that allows you to track external information and feed it to a place where you will view it. You choose what you wish to track if the tracking technology (RSS) is available.


What is an Aggregator?

This is the place (the application) where you can collect and view the various website feeds (RSS feeds) you are requesting. An aggregator will have a place to copy/paste the URL link that the host site usually provides through a badge (see podcasting) for the request to be made.

In summary, the RSS aggregator lets you set up notifications (whether that be news, music, audio or video) to any website that has an RSS feed. Once these are set up, notifications arrive letting you know of new entries that have been made to these sites. This is useful in academia or education in that it allows you to keep up with another researcher/individual who may have some similar interests to you. Social Bookmarking applications always use RSS.

Remember when choosing an RSS feed from external locations, you should choose from sites that you trust, read a lot or are very relevant to your interests.

iTunes is an excellent aggregator for video, music or any media application.


More information on RSS and Sites

What is RSS?

What is RSS (xml.com)

Introduction to RSS

RSS Specifications - Everything you need to know about RSS

RSS Sites