OT: Can someone explain RSS feeds?

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I just went to Feedreader online and read the explanation. I still can't figure it out.

http://www.feedreader.com/features.php

It seems so generalized as to make it difficult (for me) to understand. I see lots of references to RSS feeds now and was curious if it might prove useful. I do enjoy following google news for example.
 
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RRS feeds are a way for a web site to publish updates. Collected together in one reader, you can easily track updates for multiple sites without having to visit all the site to see what's new.
 

McQ

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I've never really paid attention to RSS Feeds and didn't know what they were either, Rich. Glad you asked.
 
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RRS feeds are a way for a web site to publish updates. Collected together in one reader, you can easily track updates for multiple sites without having to visit all the site to see what's new.
So you use the feeder's website to consolidate items of interest which one would like to keep track of? Would that mean you have to somehow search for identify and register the sites on the feeder site?
 
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I use a desktop feed reader called "feedreader"!
I start it up each morning, it checks all the feeds I have saved in it, it tells me if any of those websites have been updated. Some websites publish a snippet of the update on the feed, making you go to the website to read it all, or some publish the whole article in the feed, meaning I can read it (photos and all) in feedreader.

eg. dpreview, i get a 3 line (ish) snippet of every news update. If it interests me I can click on the heading and go to dpreview.com and read the whole thing. If I'm not interested I just delete it.

Some people have websites, instead of a desktop app, that do the same thing for you.
 
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So you use the feeder's website to consolidate items of interest which one would like to keep track of? Would that mean you have to somehow search for identify and register the sites on the feeder site?
Yes, you have to add the url for the rss feed into the software you are using as a reader. Depending on what you are using there is some degree of automation. The Google reader and iGoogle (both being retired to many users laments) made it pretty easy to click a link on site from your browser and add it to the reader.
 
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As a software developer I can give you a more detailed and very technical explanation that you probably do not need.

In short, websites and news posters can put stuff out (news, writings, blogs, what have you) in a standardized format (based on XML) that any other computer program (readers) can read, understand, organize, and display. The standard format started as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) although there are now competing formats (RSS and Atom) but both do basically the same.

Feed aggregators (e.g. Feedly, Google Reader. Google News, and many others) let you collect and display all those disparate sources into one place in a neat format.
 
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Another use is to accumulate a news section on a forum or website. I use it on my forum as a way of offering the members up-to-date information without them setting up their own systems.
 
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I just use the one on the phone to read the local paper's feeds, cnn, fox and amasuperbike news. I think its Google reader since the apps name is greader. Not exactly that great of a program. Just finding the rss feed links on some sites is a pita.
 
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Thanks all. I've loaded feedreader online and will try it for a while. Google News seems to roughly parallel it.
 
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i use RSS feeds in several scripts, for example one that collects current stock prices of my investments and throws them in a table and graph, showing current value and where each is trending. Very convenient & fast way to get a snapshot of our finances.
 
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Feed aggregators (e.g. Feedly, Google Reader. Google News, and many others) let you collect and display all those disparate sources into one place in a neat format.
FYI: Google is shutting down Reader on July 1st. It's not recommended to invest time in setting up feeds in Reader at this point.
 
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I've switched from Google Reader to InoReader which was developed by someone who didn't like the choices out there when Google announced their cutting off of my arms and legs.

I view it like a customized newspaper in a sense. I scan articles as they are published by the website, and decide if I care to read the whole thing. It saves me from going to each website looking for updates. In fact, I read my local newspaper this way. I subscribe to their website as I would hit the monthly free limit too often, but only go there for the articles that actually interest me.

There are a few Nikoncafe regulars who have blogs on their personal sites. They might post once every week or two. Rather than going there each day to look for something new, I see the post in my rss reader. I find I can keep up with 100 websites this way in the time it used to take for me to watch 10 or so.
 

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