To RSS, or Not to RSS
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 format.
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
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