Date of this Version
May 16, 2009 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
Several regular readers have mentioned in conversations recently that they don’t know what an “RSS feed” is. Many of our readers are already using the service—at this writing, more than 1200 of them access the site’s content this way.
What is an RSS feed? “RSS” stands for “really simple syndication” or maybe “rich site summary” (depending on who you ask). An RSS reader is a service that will automatically download content from websites of your choosing. Rather than spending time each day checking in at each of the websites you regularly read, your reader will download all the new content from these sites and put it in one place for you to scroll through. In effect, you are “subscribing” to each of the websites you select for your (personalized) reader. You can find further basic explanation of RSS at Wikipedia or an even less technical guide here and a very simple video explanation here.
There are many sites you can use as an RSS feed, though CB is most familiar withGoogle Reader, and that is a good place to start if you already have a Google/Gmail account.