RSS And Why You Should Care
by George L SmythRSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, though that does not begin to give you a glimpse of its true value. The best way of thinking of this technology is that it is like using the Web, only instead of going somewhere to get the information, it comes to you automatically.
I currently monitor 20 photographic websites because I like to see what other people are doing. Looking at other people's work inspires me and gives me ideas as to how I might put my own twist on what they have done. If I had to go to all 20 websites each day, then it would be a cumbersome task. However through the technology of RSS, all I need to do is to look at my RSS Reader to see which websites have updated information since the last time I looked. And the best thing of all is that the content has already been loaded, so I do not even need to go to the website at all, unless I make that decision.
Anyone who has exposed themselves to blogs and podcasts already understands what I am talking about. The user simply enters the "RSS Feed" into the RSS reader of choice, and the content, or at least a description of the content, is automatically downloaded when it becomes available. Each day more content is made available via RSS Feed, and having it automatically delivered to you is easy. The club website now offers an RSS Feed for the articles that appear on the home page.
By going to your favorite search engine and entering "RSS Reader," you will find a plethora of programs that can be downloaded. My favorite, however, is not a program I installed on my computer, but the website Bloglines.com. I like it because it keeps track of my RSS Feeds on line, so that I can access them on whatever computer I happen to be using (especially handy for those of us who have a computer as well as a laptop). Since it is a website, it works whether you are using Windows, Mac, or Linux.
To get you started, I am going to offer a few RSS Feeds to which I am subscribed. If you have any questions about this then please do not hesitate to contact me via George.Smyth@gmail.com.
http://b-ccc.org/RSS/News.asp - Be alerted as soon as a new article is posted to the club website
http://www.radiantvista.com/rss/critique/wmv - A professional's in depth critique of an image
http://www.jwz.org/cheesegrater/RSS/apod.rss - I love astronomy and the pictures here are amazing
http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/index_fullfeed.rdf - I continue to be impressed by this person's creativity
http://www.filemagazine.com/thecollection/atom.xml - Seriously good photography for serious photographers
http://feeds.feedburner.com/GLSmyth - You din't think you could get away without allowing me to recommend my own photographic blog