blog:RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds

Introduction

Last class we learned about an interesting topic that I really had no idea about known as RSS feeds. At first, probably due to my lack of knowledge on the subject, I thought RSS feeds would be an interesting, but not really useful or practical web technology feature. Upon further knowledge and some experimenting with RSS feeds, however, I have found them to be quite handy and a great useful tools for finding information faster and more efficiently on the Web.

What are RSS Feeds?

So what are RSS Feeds? They are Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works such as blog entries, news headlines, podcasts, and videos, all in a standardized form. Any RSS document or feed includes full or summarized text usually with publishing dates and authorship. Makers of these RSS feeds benefit by letting their audiences receive uniform information quickly and automatically.

They provide an even greater benefit to readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from a selection of websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. The user subscribes to a feed by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. This brings us to Web-based RSS readers, or the websites where all your aggregated information is kept for quick use. There are several Web-based RSS readers to choose from including Google, Yahoo, and the one I use, Bloglines. Don't have a Bloglines account? Sign up here.

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Its only been a few days since I learned about and started using RSS Feeds through Bloglines, but already I have found it to be quite a useful tool and something that I check routinely. Bloglines is a great, simple site that organizes all of the RSS Feeds you subscribe too. Not too much is better than up-to-date information all amassed in one convenient place, especially when you want news on something like the stock market. Given my interests, this was the first thing that came to mind. To be a successful player in the stock market you have to constantly be on top of information in the business world. It's quite difficult to jump around from website to website trying to find all the most important and latest news in the world of business. Now with Bloglines, however, things have gotten much easier. I've created several folders of financial information and news regarding business in general, but primarily the stock market. I've already got about twenty RSS feeds going to my Bloglines account from financial sites like TheStreet.com, Briefing.com, Yahoo Finance, and my personal investing site Scottrade. Hopefully now I can stay on top of the market and make good picks that bring in some cash money. Before that I should say I hope this market turns around so making money is even possible.

My Term Project: The Music Industry

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Bloglines and RSS feeds have provided another great use for me and that is staying on top of my term project. The class I'm writing this blog for requires a term project on a company, an industry, or something like that. I've chosen to do my project on the music and records industry. So far, I've spent a bit of time going around the Web and hunting down news feeds, blogs, etc. that are about the music industry. I've found a bunch of great links already, and I'm sure more are on the way. Some of the sites I currently subscribe to include new feeds from the four major record labels; EMI, Warner Music Group, Sony BMG, and Universal Music Group, as well as other music industry associations' feeds. Now, working on my term project is likely to be a lot easier with this one-stop, sort of personal library on the music industry I have through Bloglines.

So if you didn't know what RSS feeds were or how to use them, I hope this blog page has been of some use to you. I highly recommend signing up for an RSS reader account like Bloglines or some other one because, at least for me, they have proven to be quite useful and a future tool I'm certain I'll take advantage of.

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