What is a feed?

According to Wikipedia, “a web feed (or news feed) is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content.” So if you visit a site and click on the image below, you will receive updated content from that site. This means you do not need to go back to the site to check when they add new content.

RSS feed

What is RSS
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is the technical format of a web feed. It is just one way for expressing feeds as XML. Another popular feed is Atom. Both feeds are made to be viewed for computers, but you can view them as plain text files.

Who uses feeds?
Most websites that have a lot of content. The BBC news, amazon, google, all big websites will allow users to subscribe to their feed. Smaller sites such as bloggers will also have feeds.

Can I publish my own feeds?
Yes of course you can. If you have a website you can have a feed on your site. Using a cms like wordpress, drupal or blogger, you can choose the theme that incorporates a feed and you will be publishing your feed automatically.

How do you get started with feeds?
To read the feeds, you have to use a news aggregator. One of them is Google Reader. You can go to one place daily and receive all the updates from the sites where you have subscribed to their feed. It is really simple and saves so much time.

There are also feed reader applications:

* NewsGator – FeedDemon 2.0
* NewsGator – Inbox for Microsoft Outlook
* NewsGator – NetNewsWire
* Firefox (via “Live Bookmarks” feature)

Online Services

* Google Reader
* NewsGator
* My Yahoo!
* Bloglines
* Pageflakes
* Netvibes

Podcast Readers

* iTunes
* Juice
* Doppler
* FireAnt

So now that you have chosen you feedreader, go and visit your favourite sites and subscribe to their feeds by clicking on the image as shown above.

2 thoughts on “What is a feed?

  1. Christina

    Are there any other feed burning sites, besides Feedburner? I just moved to WordPress from Blogger, and I’m not even sure I have a feed here! But don’t want to use Feedburner this time around.

    1. Jo Turnbull Post author

      Hi Christina,
      Thank you for your comment and apologise for the the delay in replying.
      You should have the option with WordPress to have a feed, it depends on the theme you choose. I have not personally used a different feed besides the one with WordPress or Blogger. However, you can get feeds built by third parties, for example a FusePump does this, but there is a fee.



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