or Not to RSS
These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than
5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
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Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
is a technology that is taking the Internet by storm. Literally
every day dozens or even hundreds of new RSS feeds are being created
to serve news to subscribers. What is RSS? Depending on whom you ask,
it stands either for Really Simple Syndication (most popular), or Rich
Site Summary. RSS is a technology that allows a piece of software called
an aggregator to collect content from across the Internet that originates
on websites selected by the user. Rather than making the rounds of all
your favorite websites to see what, if anything, is new, the user relies
on the publishers to generate an ".rss" file (called an RSS feed) for
the aggregator (or RSS reader) to collect and display in a user-defined
In this manner, if you have, say, three news websites,
two financial websites, and a couple sports websites that you surf to
a couple times each day to get the latest scoop, rather than spending
the time to actually go to each website, you simply take a look at your
aggregator to see if there is anything worth investigating further.
The website publishers are responsible for keeping your RSS feed current.
There are many RSS aggregator programs available - some for free
and some for a price. Although generally the for-a-price aggregators
have more features, there the free ones do a pretty good job if you
can do without the fluff. "RSS Reader," for instance, is a Freeware
aggregator and handles the basic collection of RSS feeds well. A screenshot
of "RSS Reader" with a few useful electronics websites is provided below
to demonstrate the format. Just copy and paste the URLs into any RSS
reader. A Google search for "rss electronics," "rss technology," "rss
finance," etc., will yield hundreds of useful topics, in many languages.
Beginning today, October 2, 2005, RF Cafe will be publishing an
RSS feed that everyone in the world should subscribe to ;-) To begin
with, we will include daily headlines and all of the items that make
their way into the Recent Additions column. Those two features are often
cited as the most useful features on the RF Cafe homepage. Additionally,
whenever there is a new Factoid or Notable Quote, etc., we will try
to remember to include those, too.
If you have not indulged in
the RSS world, then now might as well be your excuse to try it. Give
the link below the screen shot a click and download and install the
"RSS Reader," then populate its list with some of the electronics website
RSS feeds listed to the right of the screen shot to get you started.
A couple RSS feed locator sites hyperlinks are also given to provide
you with a source for other topics (underneath the screenshot).