RSS -Definition and history Definition and history

RSS “feed” is a type of electronic file written in the XML formatting language (similar to HMTL, but with user-defined parameters), which contains information about content on a Website—for example, a headline and summary or excerpt. What makes RSS innovative is the way in which this feed is delivered and used.

RSS files are created by content publishers and then delivered to people who have subscribed to that feed using a “feed reader” application (also called a news aggregator). The feed reader program checks with the originator of the content regularly and if it finds any new content available from a particular site, downloads the information about it, called //metadata//[N1] , into the application automatically.

Information about content that enables it to be stored in and retrieved from a database. A person can subscribe to multiple feeds using a feed reader and then read, all in one screen, what new feeds have come into the program. He or she can then click on the headline of an item to go to the originating Website and access the full article. keep track of email addresses or worrying that an email or HTML newsletter will get lost in the pool of spam and virus-laden messages.

Beyond personal use, RSS feeds can also be used to republish, or syndicate, content on Websites. For example, an electrical engineer who writes a Weblog for his in-house colleagues could syndicate feeds from various electrical engineering publications on the site, and provide the latest news to his readers without composing it himself. This is entirely legal and not a copyright violation because the links to read the content send the user back to the originating site.

History

RSS was developed in 1999, but it’s taken off recently because of the increasing amount of information people are trying to take in, especially through nontraditional sources such as blogs. Although currently most RSS feeds are text-based and received via a desktop computer, technology experts point out the potential for more flexible use. Audio and video files or other multimedia content can be sent via RSS, and many mobile devices, such as cell phones or PDAs, can receive RSS feeds as well. RSS and learningWays in which instructors can use RSS for or in courses include
  • subscribing to feeds on certain topics to stay current
  • publishing syndicated content on course Websites or blogs
  • having learners create their own blogs and then subscribing to the feeds of all those blogs to check new content on them
  • notifying learners about new available courses
  • updating learners on new internal or external resources available on a training topic
  • subscribing to feeds from learning object repositories to see the newest objects added or objects added in a topic they’re developing a course on.ç

Note: The above text is an adaptation from :
A Learning Technology
by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson (
ekaplan@astd.org.)
http://www.learningcircuits.org/2004/may2004/0405_Trends.htm

Further Reading:
1) How to use RSS- http://www.geocities.com/vance_stevens/rss_edu.htm
2) Syndication (RSS9 and Aggregation) http://beevance.wikispaces.com/Article#tocArticle24
3) Video by Common Craft: http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english
4) In Matute's Blog- Posting by Matías Basilico, one of writing matrix participants: http://mbasilico.blogspot.com/

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