Really? Simple? Syndication?

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RSS.  Really Simple Syndication.  But for newbies like me, trying to understand it is anything but.

I feel like Jerry Seinfeld, but what is the deal with RSS?  Really.  Anyone who wants to help me out with this, have at it.  In my search to better understand it, I’ve come across countless tutorials, feed reader recommendations, and even a blogger who claims he is so over RSS.

My biggest frustration with this topic is trying to find an adequate article or post that answers what RSS/Atom feeds are and what is their purpose.  What’s so great about ’em?  Why are they important?  Why should I subscribe to one?  I suppose maybe I have my own biases, but I really don’t understand the point of them.  I’m trying to, because in trying to understand something I often gain an appreciation of it.  I do have an RSS feed on this blog that I keep updated – but it started as part of an ongoing assignment for my Web Development class.  If I had started this blog just to blog, I probably would have paid no attention to the feed plug-in.

I freely admit I am not a very savvy person regarding the various technology that exists on and for the web.  If I find a website whose content I enjoy, I bookmark it and return to see what’s been updated.  By subscribing to the RSS feed (if the site even has one) I know I could get updates automatically sent to my email and scroll through them there.  But I like visiting websites.  I like interacting with them and having my mouse click be counted as one of the hundreds or thousands of visitors.  I suppose if I had multiple sites I visited and had trouble keeping track of them all, then subscribing to an RSS feed would make sense.

The best help I’ve found so far is this post on Lifewire’s website, aptly titled RSS 101 for Beginners.  It includes a tutorial for ultimate n00bs likes me and how to subscribe to a feed.  And maybe that’s what I should do.  In order to better understand and appreciate RSS feeds, maybe I should become more of a content consumer versus content creator.

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