RSS Feeds & Aggregators
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a standardized format for delivering web content that is regularly changing or frequently being updated. An RSS document (which is called a “feed,” “web feed,” or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus other information such as publishing dates and authorship.
Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. RSS allows users to avoid repeatedly checking all of the websites they are interested in for updates, and to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.
RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader,” “feed reader,” or “aggregator.” The user subscribes to a feed. The RSS reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available.