The History behind RSS Feeds?

rss feeds video Dec 02, 2019

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s is a simple, standardized content distribution method that can help you stay up-to-date with your favorite newscasts, blogs, websites, and social media channels.

Instead of visiting sites to find new posts or subscribing to sites to receive notification of new posts, find the RSS feed on a website and read new posts in an RSS reader.

How did the RSS Standard come about?

In March 1999, Netscape created RDF Site Summary which was the first version of RSS. It was used by web publishers to display their website content on and other early RSS portals.

A few months later, Netscape simplified the technology and renamed it to RSS Rich Site Summary. Netscape quit participating in RSS development soon after when AOL took over Netscape and restructured the company.

A new version of RSS was released in 2002, and the technology was renamed to Really Simple Syndication.

With this new version and the creation of the RSS icon for the Mozilla Firefox web browser in 2004, RSS feeds became more accessible to web visitors.

What Is RSS and How Does It Work?

RSS is a way for website authors to publish notifications of new content on their website. This content may include newscasts, blog posts, weather reports, and podcasts.

To publish these notifications, the website author creates a text file with the XML file extension for the RSS feed that contains the title, description, and link for each post on the site.

The XML file automatically syndicates new content through this RSS feed in a standard format that displays in any RSS reader.

When website visitors subscribe to this RSS feed, they read the new website content in an RSS reader.

These RSS readers collect content from multiple XML files, organize the information, and display the content in one application.

There's a lot you can do with an RSS feed and an RSS reader.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Follow discussions on web pages and in forums without visiting each page to read the list of posted comments.
  • Keep up-to-date on the tasty foods your favorite bloggers dish up and share recipes with your friends.
  • Stay current with local, national, and international news from several sources.

What Is an RSS Feed and Where Are RSS Feeds Found?

An RSS feed consolidates information sources in one place and provides updates when a site adds new content.

With social media, all you see is the favorite stuff that people share.

With an RSS feed, you see everything a website publishes.

To find an RSS feed on a website, look on the site’s main or home page. Some sites display their RSS feed as an orange button that may contain the acronyms RSS or XML.

Once you have the RSS Feed, now you need a RSS Reader?

Think of an RSS reader like your email inbox.

Use the RSS reader to view the content, or to go to the website.
As you read each piece of new content, the RSS reader marks that content as read.

There are a variety of RSS readers. If you prefer to read blog and news posts in a web browser, choose a free online RSS reader.

If you’d rather read your RSS feeds in an app, explore the different free Windows RSS feed readers and news aggregators.

A popular RSS reader is Feedly. Feedly is a cloud-based RSS reader that is available on a variety of platforms. Getting started with Feedly is easy. All you need is a Google account.

Now you're up on RSS Feeds.

Want to Learn more?

Head on over to and get on our early invite list for RSSMasher Technology.

Damon Nelson


Source credits:
Parts of this video are from an article published by Coletta Teske on Lifewire on November 09, 2019

This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions:


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