RSS Feeds – A Primer
From time to time I get questions about the Syndicate this Site (XML), Atom (XML) and Sub Bloglines links on the left side of this page. All represent various ways of accessing this site via an “RSS” feed. What’s an RSS feed? CRA Board Member Tim Finin at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County put together a handy guide to RSS feeds for the latest Computing Research News which is now available online.
Here’s a sample:
RSS (Rich Site Summary ) is a way to disseminate information on the Web that is somewhere between the push of email and the pull of browsing web portals. In that sense, it is like the venerable Unix newsgroups, but differs in that anyone can start an RSS channel by putting it on the Web and the content is under your complete control. RSS is viewed as a lightweight tool for the syndication of web site content to be incorporated into web pages, portals, and personalized information sources. As more and more information becomes available via RSS feeds, it is becoming a valuable tool to deal with the overwhelming amount of information available today.
How It Works
RSS is a XML standard for publishing summaries of articles or news itemsfor example, a headline, date, short description, and a link to the full item. The full specifications define about 20 metadata fields and the XML encoding supports additional extensibility. Information providers, like the CRA, Slashdot, The New York Times, and bloggers publish RSS feeds or channels as XML files at an advertised URLs. As the original content changes, for example, new stories are posted to Slashdot, the corresponding RSS channel is updated, typically including only the 10 or 15 most recent items. Most blogging systems can automatically update an RSS feed containing the summaries of recent items at the same time as it publishes the regular blog pages. RSS files are also easy to maintain with simple programs or to generate from other sources such as databases….
Read the whole thing: CRA Policy Blog Available as an RSS Channel