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RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It has had several other names over the years, but that is the current one.
RSS attempts to solve a problem that people have when using the Internet; they are overwhelmed with information. In the age of the Internet you can now read all your favorite newspapers and blogs and do so all while never leaving your computer.
The problem is, how do you keep track of the newest information on all these websites without being completely inundated, or having to spend hours combing through these sites? This is where RSS comes in handy.
So what is RSS exactly? Wikipedia defines RSS as follows:
"RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works – such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video – in a standardized format"
The first thing that you have to do is get something to read RSS. We here at the Sacramento Press tend to use Google Reader. This will be a home for all of your RSS feeds.
On many sites including this one you will see an RSS icon. Generally this is a small orange icon, like one of the two pictured in the image gallery above.
These icons are simply links to unstyled versions of the content on a website. And the way you use them is copy the link from these RSS buttons into your RSS reader, such as Google Reader.
Because I think this is more easily demonstrated than explained, I have linked to a video of a really great explanation of RSS.
Did you watch the video? If not I would really recommend it. After watching the video go ahead and try it for yourself. Grab Google Reader and subscribe to the RSS feed for this storyline. Can you find the RSS button? It's right under the title of this article.
Still don't quite get it? Comment in the conversation below and I'll answer all your questions and concerns.