I’m sure you’ve seen the “radio wave” orange icon on numerous sites before; there’s one at the top of this blog as well, followed by the letters “RSS”. But what exactly is this thing, and why should you even care about it anyway?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” (no, seriously) and it’s at the heart of blogging and blogs. In fact, I consider it the beauty of blogs over old, “Web 1.0” static sites.
Using RSS, you can read your favourite blogs from wherever you are using a good RSS reader app. You can also have all your blogs within one repository, and access posts in a similar fashion to email. A popular RSS reader is the one by Google: Google Reader. Using this, you can read your blogs side-by-side, and keep up-to-date with the latest posts across blogs.
You can add my blog to your RSS reader by accessing my “RSS feed”. Each blog has its own RSS feed, a URL that allows you to access the blog’s posts and display them within your reader. My blog’s feed it: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LifeInPixels. By adding it to your feed reader, you can get my latest posts in an “inbox” along with your other favourite blogs, and never miss a beat in keeping up with your world.
If you’re a BlackBerry user (as I know many of my friends are), then check out BlackBerry’s native RSS app, called “BlackBerry News Feeds” [App World link]. This app isn’t linked to Google Reader, but rather to your BlackBerry ID. I use it extensively to read my various tech, architecture and writing blogs.
Try RSS, and you’ll be amazed how much more information you can devour in a short space of time. Any questions about it? Feel free to drop a line in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer it.