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What is RSS? RSS is a family of web feed formats, specified in XML and used for Web syndication. A web feed is a document which contains content items, often summaries of stories or weblog posts with web links to longer versions. Web syndication is a form of syndication in which a section of a website is made available for other sites and persons to use.
What is it for? RSS is used by (among other things) news Web sites, weblogs and podcasting. The abbreviation is variously used to refer to Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0), Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0) and RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0). In addition to facilitating syndication, web feeds allow a website's frequent readers to track updates on the site using an aggregator.
What can it do for me? Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites of interest for updates, creating a unique information space or "personal newspaper." An aggregator is able to subscribe to a feed, check for new content at user-determined intervals, and retrieve the content.