Who is Smik?

Monday, 10 November 2008

RSS: Keeping up-to-date and informed

This posting relates to the third session I am presenting in Singapore on Saturday November 15 at the Hands On Literacy conference

RSS is an acronym with several explanations:
  • Rich Site Syndication
  • Really Simple Syndication
  • Really Simple Syntax

RSS is a feature of xml technology and facilitates the transfer of content from one computer to another.

Sometimes these are called news feeds, or headlines

One feature of RSS is that as data on the parent site is updated, so the data on the receiving site is updated.

This process is called syndication

RSS feeds are received as xml and are then displayed at the receiving computer in html.
Thus 'raw' xml' content looks a little like html with similar 'markup' features.

Click here http://api.edna.edu.au/headline.rss?sector=edna for an example (this may behave differently if you are using Firefox)

Sometimes you are able to use a website’s features to display an RSS feed.
Sometimes you have to pull the RSS feed in using JavaScript. More about that later.

RSS feeds may be generated by blogs like this one
They enable to user to monitor additions to the blog

The text version of podcasts are also often available as an RSS feed.

RSS feeds thus enable the user to select sources of information and keep up to date without having to remember to visit the original website.

The source site pushes the RSS feed out, the receiving end pulls the RSS feed in.

RSS in Plain English: http://www.blip.tv/file/205570/

RSS Feed Aggregators
Aggregators are web places where you can identify the RSS feeds that you want to monitor
You access them via the web from wherever you are
• iGoogle: http://www.google.com/ig
• Pageflakes: http://www.pageflakes.com/
• Bloglines: http://www.bloglines.com/
• Blogbridge: http://www.blogbridge.com/
• Google Reader: http://reader.google.com/
• Netvibes: http://www.netvibes.com/
• Newsgator: http://www.newsgator.com/

RSS Readers

are generally software that you download and then install on your computer

A list of RSS Readers that you can download

RssReader - free RSS reader is able to display any RSS and Atom news feed (XML)

Feed Reader3 – free RSS reader

FeedGhost – Requires Windows XP or Windows Vista

RSS by Email

Feed My Inbox: http://feedmyinbox.com
You type in the URL of the page that has an RSS feed and then the email address to send the feed to. It gives you a "daily digest" of feeds from that site.

Creating an RSS feed is not nearly as difficult as it once was.

  • The easiest way to go about it is to create a blog and they usually generate an RSS feed.

  • Tumblr is a tool that allows you to generate a blog from a "web journey" and the resultant blog is available as an RSS feed.

Other sources of RSS feeds

Feed 2 JS tool
This is a tool that enables you to feed the content of an RSS feed into a web page through Java Script.

For further information see http://www.edna.edu.au/edna/go/help/rss_help