Really Simple Syndication

RSSYesterday Marissa asked me if there was not an easy way to see if something new happened on the weblog or the forums. I was happy that I was able to say that there is indeed something for that: RSS, which stands for “Really Simple Syndication”.

Let me explain what RSS is. With RSS you can register to a news feed and track the changes. That sounds cool, but doesn’t really explain anything.
A news feed can be any online source with changing information, such as a weblog, forum or vblog. Oh wait, we have a here a weblog and some forums. So that is a good start.
So with RSS we will be able to see what has changed here on our weblog and forums.

So how this all works. Well, it is not that difficult.
First, lets have a look with what application we are going the results of the RSS stream. There are special applications, as “Feed Reader” the view the RSS content.
Nowadays every self respecting mail client supports RSS.
But every modern browser also supports RSS, directly or through a plugin. I prefer this way as a browser is often already active.

You can see if a site supports RSS by the symbol at the top of this article or by a text referring to it, as on our weblog (see the picture below).

RSS

Activating an RSS feed is simple. Click the RSS symbol or the link provided with the referring text, select where the RSS feed should be stored, confirm your selection and you’re done.

RSS

An RSS will not only show the latest content, but it will also show if you have read already.
But here is a little catch: The article will only show as read when the article has been opened, reading while browsing the articles will not let RSS mark the article as read.

Both the weblog and our new forums support RSS.
The weblog supports 2 RSS feeds: One for articles and an second for comments on articles.
Our forums also has two RSS feeds, one for the public forums and another for the private ones.
Maybe needless to see, you can see the content through the RSS feed. So the private articles and forums can only be accessed when to proper rights are given and when logged into them.

RSS

I hope this helps and when there are questions, please let me know! And oh… there are many site out there that support RSS. Use it, it is very handy (at least I think so).

Rob
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