RSS Simplified And Explained

February 27, 2007

Honestly, it took me some time for me to understand and realize the importance of RSS. I’ve came across several websites and eBooks stressing the importance of RSS but I’ve never really took notice.

I have to admit I’m not exactly a IT savvy person. I started out knowing nothing about HTML code. Nonetheless, the passion for what I’m doing has pushed me to learn. So looking back, I must say I’m rather proud of my achievements so far. One thing for sure, I’ve managed to step out of my comfort zone to constantly learn and upgrade myself.

Now back to the main topic, I will like to share of the little knowledge I have about RSS.

Previously, the mention of RSS scares me. It sounds like really something hard to understand and master.

If you take a look at the definition over at Wikipedia:, you may still not get the idea.

Hence, allow me to try my best to explain it in my layman’s term.

Well, RSS actually stands for Really Simple Syndication. And the purpose of website owners publishing RSS feeds is to enable their readers/visitors to view the content on their websites conveniently.

For example, if you were to subscribe to my RSS Feed, you are able to view the content of my website using a feed reader say Google Reader. Hence, instead of you having to come to my website everyday to check if I’ve updated the content, you can simply log into your Google Reader to check.

Thus, if you have a habit of surfing say your favourite 10 different websites, you save yourself the hassle of visiting each individual website each day.

Some RSS feeds provide a summary of the content so you still have to visit the website directly to view the entire content. Nonetheless, you’re able to know which are the ones you have to visit at one glance.

RSS feeds not only serve to enhance your surfing experience, it helps in sustaining your readers as well. For example, lets say you do not update your posts frequently. And your readers have to come back to check for updates only to be disappointed each time. Sooner or later, they are going to stop coming back completely.

However, if they were to subscribe to your RSS feed, it would save them the hassle and time.

Hence, you should always make your RSS feeds avaliable for subscription.

To optimize your RSS feed subscription, there is a powerful service called Feedburner which every blogger out to sign up with. I only learnt of this service after reading Gobala Krishnan’s powerful eBook on blogging called WordPress Adsense System.
To illustrate the usefulness of Feedburner, let’s take a look at how my default RSS feed looks like:

To see the full version, go to
Notice how this doesn’t make any sense to a person who accidentally clicked on it without knowing what RSS is.

However, if I were to use Feedburner to burn my feed, my default feed is enhanced into this version:

Click on to see the full version.

As you can see, feedburner makes it easier for readers to subscribe to your RSS feed.

There are a couple of additional functions to it such as:

1. It allows your readers to easily send your links to their friends.

2. Users can bookmark your site directly from their feeds.

3. You can see the no. of comments received and various other functions.

If you were to scroll down my sidebar, you will come to a section called Syndicate this site and you will see options to subscribe to my RSS feeds.

Simply click on any of the feed reader to subscribe to my feed. The one I’m currently using is Google Reader so you might want to consider that as well. Hope you will enjoy this added convenience!

And for all bloggers, be sure to sign up for a free feedburner account at! If you need any help with it, drop me an email and I’ll do my best to assist you!


3 Responses to “RSS Simplified And Explained”

  1. Moonaire on March 6th, 2007 7:04 pm

    Just a little comment, the latest Firefox displays the feeds in a nicely formatted page. Opening the feed directly in Opera shows unformatted text, however viewing it using its built-in rss reader shows a listbox, similar to an email inbox of outlook (and you can ‘delete’ away individual feed entries you have read). Opera will also alert you whenever there’s new stuff in the feed.

    Firefox however have a live bookmark feature, which is pretty cool. The website appears in the browser’s toolbar, and clicking it shows a dropdown menu of the feed’s entries.

  2. Calvin on March 6th, 2007 10:02 pm

    Hi Munir,

    thanks for the info! Will go check it out!

  3. 7 Ways To Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog at The Insights Of Calvin Woon on March 31st, 2007 3:39 pm

    [...] 4. Create an account with Feedburner – This is another must join as it helps to burn your feeds and optimize your RSS feeds subscription. And you’re able to track how many subscribers you have for your feeds. I’ve explained the importance of RSS feeds to a blog in one of my previous posts. So read it here. [...]

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