Recently, I posted a blog entry (http://www.rtodd.com/blog/) stating that Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technology would replace the need for a meta data repository in the near future. Needless to say, I got plenty of comments, linkbacks and e-mails; most of which ... (I won't complete the sentence to keep from skewing your opinion). This month, I wanted to provide an overview of RSS technology as well as the feed aggregator utility to see if you agree with me on the possibility of repository extinction.
RSS is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Think of it as a distributable "what's new" for your site. Originated by UserLand in 1997 and subsequently used by Netscape to fill channels for Netcenter, RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites. RSS solves myriad problems Webmasters commonly face such as increasing traffic, and gathering and distributing news. RSS can also be the basis for additional content distribution services (Web Reference, 2005). The easiest why to describe an RSS feed is to provide an example and walk through the details.
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