RSS is a formate for syndicating news and other online content. Basically, it acts as an organizer, delivering regularly changing web content, of which you are subscribed, to you through e-mail, a website, or straight to your desktop. Many news-like websites, weblogs, and practically anything that can, as Mark Pilgrim of Xml.com writes, "be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS."
Here are some of the popular RSS providers Lee LeFever (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU) recommends users to choose from: www.google.com/reader; www.bloglines.com; www.newsgator.com; myYahoo!.
Since most of my classmates went with Google, I wanted to try something new. First I went to myYahoo! since I already had an account there and checked it out. At Yahoo, I couldn't seem to figure out what I was doing, but then, after much fooling around, I figured out that myYahoo! uses RSS to send updates directly to your myYahoo! online page, not your e-mail. I didn't like this, so I went to www.newsgator.com.
Even though I couldn't figure out how to get the updates of my subscriptions sent directly to my e-mail, I liked newsgator a lot. Like myYahoo!, It allows you to create an online page for your RSS feeds to go to, but it also lets you do a free and fast download that allows easy access to your subscribed website updates from your desktop.
I spent a lot of time today experimenting with RSS. So far all of my website subscriptions are to news-related sites like BBC, CNN, MaxBoxing, and a handful of others; however, when time allows, I definitely want to add some blogs and other websites now that I, because of RSS and newsgator, will have the time to read them. To be honest, I am incredibly excited about this new time saving program I have on my desktop and will be sure to tell others to start using RSS as soon as possible.
Now that I know a little about RSS, I have no doubt that it will play a major role in the future of the internet. By allowing everyone to be a potential news provider, RSS makes it easier for web users to get high-quality relevant news in a timely manner, which, I think, is what everyone wants; and in the future with RSS services, as Andrew B. King writes in "Introduction to RSS," providing "user-rated channels, cool RSS site of the day, build your own topic-specific portal, and highly relevant search engines," I see it becoming a necessity for many web users.
Introduction to RSS (Last updated April 4, 2003). Retrieved April 11, 2008 from http://www.webreference.com/authoring/languages/xml/rss/intro/
LeFever, Lee (Last updated 2007, April 23). RSS in plain English You Tube. Retrieved April 11, 2008 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU
Pilgrim, Mark (Last updated Dec 18, 2002). Retrieved April 11, 2008 from http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/12/18/dive-into-xmlWhat Is RSS? (Last updated 30 July, 2007). Retrieved April 11, 2008 from http://www.WhatIsRss.com