Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell The Circonomist to let you know every time we post an article? Well, this is exactly what RSS does. RSS allows you to keep track of our website without having to manually visit the website each time. There’s a feed for all the news items or a feed for every category.
- General: https://www.circonomist.com/category/general//feed
- Climate adaptation: https://www.circonomist.com/category/cimate-adaptation//feed
- Freshwater resources management: https://www.circonomist.com/category/freshwater-resources-management//feed
- Quality in the watercycle: https://www.circonomist.com/category/quality-in-the-watercycle//feed
- Resource efficiency: https://www.circonomist.com/category/resource-efficiency//feed
- Value in the watercycle: https://www.circonomist.com/category/value-in-the-watercycle//feed
- Water & energy: https://www.circonomist.com/category/water-energy//feed
What is RSS?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. It is a way to easily distribute a list of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content to a wide number of people. It is used by computer programs that organize those headlines and notices for easy reading.
What problem does RSS solve?
Most people are interested in many websites whose content changes on an unpredictable schedule. Examples of such websites are news sites, community and religious organization information pages, product information pages, medical websites, and weblogs. Repeatedly checking each website to see if there is any new content can be very tedious. Email notification of changes was an early solution to this problem. Unfortunately, when you receive email notifications from multiple websites they are usually disorganized and can get overwhelming, and are often mistaken for spam.
RSS is a better way to be notified of new and changed content. Notifications of changes to multiple websites are handled easily, and the results are presented to you well organized and distinct from email.
How does RSS work?
RSS works by having the website author maintain a list of notifications on their website in a standard way. This list of notifications is called an “RSS Feed“. People who are interested in finding out the latest headlines or changes can check this list. Special computer programs called “RSS aggregators” have been developed that automatically access the RSS feeds of websites you care about on your behalf and organize the results for you. (RSS feeds and aggregators are also sometimes called “RSS Channels” and “RSS Readers“.)
Producing an RSS feed is very simple and hundreds of thousands of websites now provide this feature, including major news organizations like the New York Times, the BBC, and Reuters, as well as many weblogs.
What information does RSS provide?
RSS provides very basic information to do its notification. It is made up of a list of items presented in order from newest to oldest. Each item usually consists of a simple title describing the item along with a more complete description and a link to a web page with the actual information being described. Sometimes this description is the full information you want to read (such as the content of a weblog post) and sometimes it is just a summary.
Why should I use it?
Using RSS can save you lots of time on a daily basis. Let’s say you visit a collection of 5 tech news websites three times a day. Currently, you visit them one by one in your browser, look for a new story and then go on. Going through all 5 sites might take 3-4 minutes or more if you find a new article. With RSS, all you do is go into an RSS feed reader, or RSS aggregator, and you will instantly know which websites have new articles and which don’t. You will also be able to see past entries with RSS. If you were to only visit the website, you could miss an article if you don’t visit frequently enough or get bored of seeing the same article if you visit to frequently. RSS fits in perfectly with this scenario. Now, imagine if you wanted to keep tabs on 25 websites. RSS easily proves indispensable. You have probably already used RSS before… Google’s customizable homepage gets your news from RSS feeds, as does My Yahoo.
There’s two main types of RSS readers: online RSS services, and native RSS apps. The former run automatically in the background, finding new articles as soon as they’re published. You can read your articles online, or typically sync them with apps for your phone or computer—either made by the RSS service, or from third-party developers. Then, native RSS apps sync RSS feeds directly on your device and often work with popular RSS services.
There are apps for every reading style, budget, and platform—here are some of the best ones: https://zapier.com/blog/best-rss-feed-reader-apps/