By Allen Hart
If you have used the internet lately you have most likely
of something called “RSS.” If you are anything like me I am
that you have wondered what this “RSS stuff” is all about. I
going to try and answer that question as well as explain a
little bit about how RSS can be useful.
For the purpose of this article RSS stands for “Really Simple
Syndication”. I started my RSS research by going to
wikipedia.org and simply looking up the term ‘RSS’.
The information in the article I found,
informative, but if you are like me you don’t want to have to
read a huge document to understand what something like RSS is
all about. You want a simple, concise definition and a few
example of what RSS might mean in your life.
So, let me break the topic down in a way that we can all
I have been using RSS for about a year. I discovered a use for
RSS soon after I started using Firefox, which is a browser
alternative for Internet Explorer. (If you would like to know
more about Firefox, visit getfirefox.com.) Many people
in the technology field use Firefox - I even have my wife
One reason to use Firefox as your web browser is that it makes
using RSS simple. Firefox makes it so that whenever you go to
webpage that uses RSS you will see a small orange symbol in
When you see this symbol, you can click on it and it will
up an option to add a bookmark. This adds a bookmark that
directly to either a RSS file or an XML file. These files are
condensed version of the website that you were visiting when
clicked on the RSS symbol (sometimes they are referred to as
Another great thing about Firefox is that you can read RSS
files without the need for any other software. The feed will
look like a folder with a collection of links that are the
articles from the RSS Feed you subscribed to.
But, to get some of the more advanced feed reading features
can get an ‘RSS reader’. Firefox includes an RSS reader
extension that you can install called Sage. You can download
at https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/77/. (Note: My next
article will be about Firefox and extensions so don’t worry if
you don’t understand them at this point.)
You can also use an online reader put out by Google here
www.google.com/reader/things/intro. I prefer the
interface and haven’t used any of these on-line readers. You
will to experiment with both types of RSS viewers a little bit
and see which works best for you.
If you aren’t using Firefox and you still want to subscribe to
an RSS feed the link will be a small orange button that says
“RSS” or “XML.” These standard icons are usually used to make
the RSS Feeds easier to find.
RSS feeds are also used for Podcasts and Videocasts. A Podcast
and/or Videocast is an internet radio/TV program that can be
listened to on an iPod or other MP3 device. You subscribe to
the RSS feed using iTunes and it will automatically download
the audio file and put it on your iPod (or another type of MP3
player). If you don’t have an iPod you can still use these
feeds with other audio programs like
You can also check out the CWAHD Podcast Directory at
www.cwahd.com/podcasts.html. This directory is full of
I have a Video iPod and I love to watch Videocasts when I have
some free time. I have even gone as far as mounting my iPod in
my car so I can listen to audio podcasts on the way to work.
I hope that you have been able to get at least a little bit of
information about what RSS is and what it can do for you. I am
really excited about RSS and have started a project to have
CWAHM.com and CWAHD.com redesigned to incorporate RSS for all
of the articles featured on both sites. I believe that RSS
change the way that you surf the internet in the near future.
is a quick way to get a lot of information from the internet
a simple, easy to read format.
About The Author: Allen Hart is the founder of
CWAHD.com, Christian Work at Home Dads.
was designed to assist dads in their quest for a work at home
job or business. For more information and additional articles,
visit www.cwahd.com or contact Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.