Summary

RSS can automate web surfing, create a virtual custom newspaper, and help you stay current in your areas of expertise or interest.


Detail

There are millions of RSS feed files sitting on Internet Servers. These RSS feed files are regularly updated with a treasure trove of "what's new" information from websites and blogs.

Using an RSS reader, you can subscribe to these feeds and have topical information delivered to your desktop.

Why would you do that?


Automate web surfing.

Dave Winer, the programmer who developed RSS:

"When people ask me what RSS is, I say it's automated web surfing. We took something lots of people do, visiting sites looking for new stuff, and automated it. It's a very predictable thing, that's what computers do -- automate repetitive things."

If you do repetitive web surfing, like going to websites to see "what's new", RSS can automate that process. If you regularly check at least 10 websites or blogs to see if there is anything new, then RSS is for you.


Create a custom virtual newspaper.

Picture your morning newspaper (if you still get a paper newspaper). There are syndicated articles from

Someone selected from all the syndicated content available and created your morning newspaper.

You can create your own online virtual newspaper by selecting the RSS feeds that you want to read. You can create a virtual newspaper with AP news, health information, weather, and just the comics you want to see, or any other variety of content.

Subscribing to RSS feeds and getting them delivered to your desktop is like creating your own custom virtual newspaper.


Receive targeted information.

Looking for a new job?
Subscribe to RSS feeds that deliver only targeted job ads to your RSS feed reader.
What's for lunch?
Some colleges and schools have cafeteria menus available as RSS feeds.
Want to follow a sports team that is not in your area?
Subscribe to RSS feeds about that team.
Are you ready for a vacation?
Subscribe to RSS feeds of vacation specials.
Want to read a book a chapter at a time?
Go to DailyLit and subscribe to an RSS feed for a book.
Want to share your calendar with your friends or group?
Go to RSS Calendar and create and share a calendar.
Want to follow the weather for a location?
Weather Forecast Map provides RSS Feeds with weather forecasts for locations around the world.
Want to know when a new lesson is added to this RSS Tutorial?
Subscribe to the RSS Tutorial Change Log RSS Feed.

Monitor your own RSS feed.

If you create a feed, you will certainly want to subscribe to that feed for control reasons (and vanity reasons).

Are you sending out a feed for the world to see? What if the feed is broken or invalid? One should always subscribe to their own feed.

If you are a webmaster and you create an RSS feed, subscribing to RSS feeds helps you understand what your readers are doing to see your RSS feed.

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