RSS is a family of web feed formats, specified in XML and used for Web syndication. RSS is used by (among other things) news websites, weblogs and podcasting. The abbreviation is variously used to refer to the following standards:
- Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
- Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0)
- RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0)
- Real-time Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
Web feeds are widely used by the weblog community to share the latest entries' headlines or their full text, and even attach multimedia files. Since mid-2000, use of RSS has spread to many of the major news organizations, including Reuters, CNN, PR Newswire, Business Wire, and the BBC. These providers allow other websites to incorporate their "syndicated" headline or headline-and-short-summary feeds under various usage agreements. RSS is now used for many purposes, including marketing, bug-reports, or any other activity involving periodic updates or publications. Many corporations are turning to RSS for delivery of their news, replacing email and fax distribution.
As the mainstream media attempts to realize the full potential of RSS, the new media is utilizing RSS by bypassing traditional news sources. Consumers and journalists are now able to have news constantly fed to them instead of searching for it.
A program known as a feed reader or aggregator can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. It is common to find web feeds on major websites and many smaller ones. Some websites let people choose between RSS or Atom formatted web feeds; others offer only RSS or only Atom.
RSS-aware programs are available for various operating systems. Client-side readers and aggregators are typically constructed as standalone programs or extensions to existing programs such as web browsers. Browsers such as Opera browser and Mozilla Firefox are moving toward integrated feed reader functions.
Web-based feed readers and news aggregators require no software installation and make the user's "feeds" available on any computer with Web access. Some aggregators combine existing web feeds into new feeds, e.g., taking all football related items from several sports feeds and providing a new football feed. There are also search engines for content published via web feeds like Feedster or Blogdigger.
On Web pages, web feeds (RSS or Atom) are typically linked with the word "Subscribe", an orange rectangle, , or with the letters or . Many news aggregators such as My Yahoo! publish subscription buttons () for use on Web pages to simplify the process of adding news feeds.______________________________________________________
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