What is RSS?

RSS (variously defined as Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is a standard for publishing regular updates to web-based content. These updates are usually called “feeds.” RSS is most commonly associated with blogs but can (and should) be added to any website that regularly posts content. Webmasters use this standard to provide updates which users can view with RSS reader software (standalone or web-based). Essentially, RSS creates a push-pull communication channel between publisher and consumer. Most often, this communication is completely anonymous, which can be a great benefit for feed recipients and a problem for webmasters. A primary benefit for feed recipients is the ability to aggregate numerous feeds from favorite websites to keep current with their content. Since the alternative for many (ignoring email communications) of these sites’ visitors is to rely on memory and available time to re-visit a site, the benefit to a webmaster is the ability to improve the chances that fans of the site will keep up-to-date with new content, even if anonymously.

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