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Perhaps you’ve seen text or image buttons on various websites inviting you to “subscribe via RSS.” Well, what does that mean exactly? What is RSS, what are RSS feeds, and how do you get them to work for you?

Short for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, RSS revolutionized the way that users interact with content online.

Instead of checking back every day to any particular site to see if it’s been updated, RSS feeds give users the ability to simply subscribe to the RSS feed, much like you would subscribe to a newspaper, and then read the updates from the site, delivered via RSS feeds, in what’s called a “feed reader.”

RSS feeds benefit those who actually own or publish a website as well since site owners can get their updated content to subscribers much more quickly by submitting feeds to various XML and RSS directories.

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