What is RSS anyway?
You probably have seen this three-letter acronym in the course of your time online. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary; syndicating means republishing an article that comes from another source such as a website.
An RSS is a mode of publicizing updates about websites. It may or may not contain a digest and photos of the latest posting. But those that provide summaries (thus Rich Site Summary) allow users to glide through the article so that they could decide later on if they want to access the website source. The RSS feed usually contains the title of the update originating from the website. It is also typically the link to the website source.
What are the benefits of RSS?
RSS gives benefits to both readers (users) and web publishers.
1. It gives you the latest updates.
Whether it is about the weather, new music, software upgrade, local news, or a new posting from a rarely-updates site learn about the latest as soon as it comes out.
2. It saves on surfing time.
Since an RSS feed provides a summary of the related article, it saves the users time by helping s/he decide on which items to prioritize when reading or browsing the net.
3. It lessens the clutter in your inbox.
Although your email address will be required to enjoy the services of online RSS aggregators, RSS does not use your email address to send the updates.
4. It gives the power of subscription to the user.
Users are given a free-hand on which websites to subscribe in their RSS aggregators which they can change at any time they decide differently.
5. It is spam free.
Unlike email subscriptions, RSS does not make use of your email address to send updates thus your privacy is kept safe from spam mails.
6. Unsubscribing is hassle-free.
Unlike email subscriptions where the user is asked questions on why he/ she is unsubscribing and then the user would be asked to confirm unsubscribing, all you have to do is to remove the RSS feed from your aggregator.
7. It can be used as an advertising or marketing tool.
Users who subscribe or syndicate product websites receive the latest news on products and services without the website sending spam mail. This is advantageous to both the web user and the website owner since advertising becomes targeted; those who are actually interested in their products are kept posted.
What are the pitfalls of RSS?
The disadvantages of RSS use are brought about by its being a new technology and some user-preference concerns.
1. Some users would rather receive email updates over an RSS feed.
2. Graphics and photos do not appear in all RSS feeds.
For conciseness and ease of publication, RSS feeds do not display the photos from the original site in announcing the update except for some web-based aggregators
3. The identity of the source website can be confusing.
Since RSS feeds do not display the actual URL or name of the website, it can sometimes get confusing on what feed a user is actually reading.
4. Publishers cannot determine how many users are subscribed to their feed and the frequency of their visits. Moreover, they would not know the reasons why users unsubscribe which could be important in improving their advertising.
5. RSS feeds create higher traffic and demands on the server.
Most readers still prefer the whole update over a brief summary of the entry, thus they still access the site.
6. Since it is a new technology, many sites still do not support RSS.
How do I start using RSS?
There are two things required: an RSS feed and an RSS aggregator or reader. The RSS feed comes from an RSS-supported website. There are also websites that provide a list of RSS feeds of different websites. An RSS aggregator is used to read the RSS feed from the source website. It scans and collects data on latest RSS feeds from the worldwide web.
An aggregator comes in two forms: a downloadable program also known as desktop aggregator and an online or web-based aggregator. Downloadable aggregators may require payment before they can be acquired, while internet-based aggregators are usually free of charge. All you need to do is to register an account then you are ready to use their services. Both versions permit you to customize or choose which RSS feeds to enter. Paid aggregators are usually chosen by more experienced users and they usually allow more freedom in customizing feeds.
1. Choose an RSS aggregator to use. For beginners, web-based aggregators are recommended since they are usually user-friendly
2. Scan the homepage of your target website for the RSS or XML button. It contains the RSS code you need to enter in the aggregator. Copy this code. Syndic8 provides a directory of websites that support RSS.
3. Paste the code (which contains the URL of the website) in your aggregator. There is a space provided for pasting the code.
After you have done these three easy steps, you can start reading the RSS feeds coming from the website. New postings appear as they are published real time at the source website.
Undoubtedly, RSS is an innovation in information management in the worldwide web as well as online marketing. We can expect improved RSS technology in the not-so-distant future as its popularity increases among users and website owners alike.
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The laptop or notebook is fast becoming the primary PC for a lot of people. It is small, it takes up little space, it’s rugged, and most of all it is portable. No wonder notebooks and laptops are so popular at the moment.
Cheap notebook sales have been on the rise this past couple of years. Not to mention the consistent market share of very expensive Macbooks. Indeed, the laptop has carved a strong niche in the mind share of the people.
The problem with portable system is the maintenance. Since you can bring laptops anywhere, it is prone to wear and tear because of rugged use. But if you know how to take care of your laptop, it will serve you longer and better.
The laptop battery
The first issue that should be discussed when talking about laptops is the battery. A lot of people complain about the battery life of their laptops. Some people think they are not enough. Here are ways that you can maximize laptop battery power.
1. Take out the battery if you are going to use the laptop for an extended period. Having the laptop battery on while the a/c is plugged for a long time can cause damage to your battery.
2. Dim down your laptop’s screen when using the battery. This is a great help to extend the battery life of your laptop. That is because dim screens consume less battery power.
Remember that your laptop, with a few exceptions, does not have removable keyboards. As much as possible, clean the keyboard with a brush after using it extensively.
Avoid dust and dirt from entering the gaps in your laptop keyboard by putting it on clean surfaces only. Do not put your laptop on the floor unless you have nowhere to put it on.
Cleaning the screen of your laptop is also very important. You can clean it using a damp, cotton cloth. Do not put any chemicals on the cloth. Windex, for example may damage the LCD screen.
Just get a cotton cloth and dampen it with water. Wipe the screen gently and make sure not to scratch the surface.
The laptop is your buddy
Whether for work or for play, your laptop plays a role in your tech life. Tech gadgets like this can last a long time if you take care of it. If you neglect it and throw caution to the wind, then I’m afraid your laptop won’t last long.
Image Credit: j_aroche
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