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RSS Feeds Explained

Note: You can see the PowerTalk RSS Feed displayed in this web page.

RSS is a standard for publishing content on the internet and works with simple lists of items such as news headlines. It is an ideal way for news sites to make their content widely available. News sites often use RSS to syndicate their content so that other sites can display their published news. RSS is extremely popular with bloggers as most blog authoring software can easily create a RSS feed from the blog. RSS is not limited to news and is suitable for sharing anything that is organised as a list such as a product change history.

An RSS Feed is simply a RSS document that is published on the intranet and occasionally updated by adding new items. The term channel is also used for a feed. The document format is designed to be processed by programs and machines unlike web pages which are created for people to read. The feed is accessed by specifying an URI in the same way as a web page, and in fact most web browsers will display raw RSS as it is text in a special format (XML to be precise and here is an XML/RSS feed example).

The most common type of program to process RSS are News Readers or News Aggregators. The BIG advantage of aggregators are that they collect news from many sources and notify you about new items as they arrive. RSS is a 'pull' technology where the required information is fetched on demand. Other services such as mailing lists are push services which send the information when it is available.

The RSS world is rather fuzzy on a couple of issues. The exact meaning of the letters 'RSS' has several interpretations but is usually taken as 'Really Simple Syndication' or 'Rich Site Summary'. Rather than a single format there are some 7 and a related format called ATOM. Most readers will process all formats.

You can view RSS feeds in several ways, including:

To learn more about RSS see the following resources:

PowerTalk RSS Feed

Here is the XML/RSS feed PowerTalk news feed displayed using the RSSxpress-lite web RSS viewer
(You may have to wait a second or so before it appears). A web page version is also available HTML view of XML/RSS feed.

For the technically minded this was produced using the following client side script in this web page.

<script src="http://rssxpress.ukoln.ac.uk/lite/viewer/?rss=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fullmeasure.co.uk%2FPowerTalk%2Fnews.xml"></script> <noscript><a href="http://rssxpress.ukoln.ac.uk/lite/viewer/?rss=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fullmeasure.co.uk%2FPowerTalk%2Fnews.xml">View </a></noscript>