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RSS, ATOM, and Related Technologies Forum

What is RSS and what does it do?
Sarah Atkinson

 2:26 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was going though thr forums this morning and and I noticed this one. It stuck out because I didn't know what RSS was. so I did what any web savvy person would do and googled it. I read an atical on it that basicly covered the history 7 vs by 3 diffent companies and the whole .9x , 1.0 and 2.0 stuff. It also told me it is used for syndicating blogs and news headlines.

But what exsactly does it do? exsamples?

What I realy want to know is this tech something I might like to learn, can I use it, Will it help my website and will my traffic apreciate it.

Of course you can't give me a yes/no awnser to that but some data to help me figure that out would be greatly apppreciated

Thank you,



 4:49 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Start a blog with wordpress, and it's builtin.


 5:18 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

All it is is a simple broadcast of website content, or db content or whatever.

Lets say you have a news folder, and it has 10 news items in it. If someone wanted to see your news items then they would have to come to your site.

Now lets say that along with having the 10 news items on your site you create an RSS feed of it. The RSS would be an xml file that would have the title, URL, description for each of your 10 news items.

Now anyone with an RSS reader (an example of one is google.com/ig) can get those ten items without having to come to your page unless one of the articles fancies them and they click it and come to your article for the full story.

I am not sure about what your site has but if you have content that is updated quite often then you may look at providing a feed for it. One of my sites has a message board, I do an RSS of that so that people can see at a glance if there are new posts and decide if they want to get in on the discussion.

Hope this helps you a bit. If you have any questions I would be glad to help answer them.

Sarah Atkinson

 5:30 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am webmaster for a non-profit website dealing with senior issuses. currently we do not have a lot of articles. I would liek to get our newspaper online at some point soon but that will take a lot of time an d $$$ which would require a grant and well that's a long time away. (I've bene begging an pleading to revamp the newspaper for over a year)

What would be great is if we could recive feeds aboult new stuff concerning seniors and place them on our website. (can we do that? if so Where would we find the feeds)



 6:42 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)


Yes you can display feeds on your site. How you do that depends on what, if any backend scripting do you have? PHP, or similar or is your site straight HTML?

For finding the feeds just search news sources and see if they have one. I think Yahoo has an RSS directory that you can search as well although I have never used it.

Depending on how your site works I may be able to help you display them on your site but if not someone here should be able to.

Sarah Atkinson

 8:33 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use PHP. A while back I created a content managment system for part of our site and when I did that I just converted the whole thing over to php I figured I might need it anyway in the future and doing it all at the same time was easier then doing each page whenever I needed it.


 9:48 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Awesome, well you need it ;)

I would go over this thread it is a step by step tutorial for putting RSS on your site with PHP, it should have everything you need.


Good luck and if you have more questions post back

Sarah Atkinson

 4:23 pm on May 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

That looks great. before I can even start doing this I have to take all the stuff I've learned to the Ex dir. and get her aproval. Do you know of any non-profits that use RSS and if so could you sticky me their URLs?


 6:02 pm on May 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not sure exactly which would apply to you but searching Yahoo RSS directory will yeild many results, they advertise on the front of that listing page that they have deals for non-profit orgs so I imagine many have taken advatage of that, I would look there first.


 4:50 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can I post article with pictures in an RSS feed?
Anyone know if this is possible and easy to do?
Your help would be great.


 5:30 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can link an image but it won't come through and be displayed n the feed. So no you can't have an image with your feed.

If you custom built a reader that would allow for this then maybe yes but anyone trying it on their reader will not get the same result.


 9:41 am on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

RSS feeds can contain images, it is up to the parser/reader to be able to display them. I use bloglines as my main RSS reader and it displays images just fine.

Just as a note, images are not included with the feed, just hyperlinks(IMG reference tags).


 2:11 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

thanks, guys, what do you mean it just shows IMG reference tags? what is that?


 3:13 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

werty.... Thanks for the image clairfication. I knew if a reader was taught to, then you could do it.

Do you feel that images coming through RSS will soon be a normal practice?

If so, do you think the takes away from the "simple" in RSS?

Sarah Atkinson

 11:52 am on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

they say images are worth a 1000 words. So maybe having images with RSS feeds would be a good thing. and just because they are there doesn't mean that they would have to be displayed. also They could still be simple. It would probaly be similar to searching ebay.

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