How often do you hear a phrase like, "Go to www.suchandsuch.com?" "Going to" a website- the idea makes sense right? Not for much longer. It wasn't that long ago that I used to rely upon bookmarks in my browser to remind me of all the different websites that I like to keep up with. I had them all nicely categorized so that I could look under "Project Management," say, find the entry for Max Wideman's Project Management Glossary, then go there to see what's new. Now, most of the sites I keep up with provide RSS feeds for their frequently updated content, so as a subscriber, their information comes to me. That means for many of these sites, I no longer need the bookmark to remind me that I'm interested in their content (not to mention the fact that del.icio.us allows me to access bookmarks from any computer, anywhere).
In this newsletter, I'll re-introduce you to RSS and a new side of the internet where information is no longer tied to websites. I'll try not to get too wildly visionary, but because I agree with Eric that RSS has become one of the most important technologies used on the internet, my hunch is that the day is coming when even the word "website" might be a bit of an anachronism.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is used to refer to an XML file that enables content from a website to be simultaneously published to anyone that has subscribed to it. Using an RSS feed reader, or aggregator, you can subscribe to RSS feeds from any source and view the content immediately after it has been published. In other words, RSS enables you to receive information from multiple websites directly to one place without having to go to those websites individually. You can read more about the basics of RSS in our newsletter from March 2006, titled RSS: When the Web Comes to You.