There are lots of explanations for the acronym “RSS” but the most popular is probably Really Simple Syndication. RSS is simply a way to deliver a “feed” of the headlines of a blog, video or audio in a standardized format. This allows a publisher of content to syndicate it and deliver it to users in a number of ways to make it easier for readers to find it and incorporate it into aggregators and readers.

For example. This blog allows members to subscribe to our RSS feed so that every time there is a new post you get an update. If you subscribe by email it will email the update to you with a summary of the new posts. If you subscribe in an RSS reader you will be able to quickly scan the headlines of the post to see if there is something new you want to read. (Of course there is!)

An RSS reader (or aggregator) allows you to subscribe to multiple RSS feeds and read them all in one place. My favorite examples of these are Google Reader and Net Vibes. Once you’ve found a site you like and want to keep up-to-date on, just subscribe to the RSS feed and add it to your chosen reader. You’ll see new posts minutes after they are written and can easily scan several feeds on one page instead of visiting all of those sites every day.

Looking for more feeds to add to your reader? A couple of excellent resources for new feeds are Alltop.com and LazyFeed. Alltop offers lists of feeds categorized by area of interest so you can easily find what you’re looking for. Lazyfeed can help you discover new content by displaying the most recent posts on a particular topic in real time. That means when an author writes a new post on RSS feeds Lazy Feed will show it in minutes and put it at the top of the feed.

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