RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is a data format for publishing news headlines and content that can be viewed in an RSS reader.

If you're technically minded and curious, see an example of what RSS data looks like

What is RSS for?

We all have a number of web sites that we enjoy visiting, but how to we know if there are any new updates or news stories at those web sites without having to visit them all manually in a web browser?

Even better, what if there was a way of seeing the news headlines from all of your favorite web sites, so that you can see at a glance if there are any particular news stories or content that you'd like to read?

Who uses RSS?

Nearly all internet news sites and almost every single blog in the world sends out information in RSS format. Although many users have never heard of RSS, it's one of the most important ways which they find out about information worth reading.

What is an RSS Reader?

An RSS reader, also known as an RSS aggregator, is the tool you use to view all of the RSS headlines from all of the web sites you're interested in. The RSS reader will keep track of which headlines/stories you've read or visited, so you can always see at a glance what you've seen before and what is new.

what is rss

You can see in the screenshot above an RSS widget that allows you to see at a glance a number of news headlines from a web site without having to visit that web site first.

Web sites that have RSS feeds will get more traffic, because users can subscribe to many RSS feeds in their RSS reader and can see at a glance what new content they would like to visit.

To get started with RSS, use this free RSS reader