Blogs and RSS

The Web is a welcoming medium for experimentation and user participation. It is becoming easier to post Web content and share comments with other users. The idea of the Web site is still very much alive, but Web participation is taking new forms and being driven by new technologies that foster social interaction. Here are two of the latest trends.

Blogs: A blog is an easy-to-create Web site that allows users to share their thoughts with the world managed by a lightweight content management system. The word "blog" comes from "Weblog" because a blog consists of a signed and dated log of individual postings. The topic of the blog can be anything, from the personal to the professional. A blog is what you make of it.

What is important about blogs is the content management system that manages the content. This system can offer a variety of features that can make the blog a useful tool. Examples include a calendar view of postings, organization of postings into categories, archived postings, options to send e-mail notification of new postings, and so on.

Blogging can be an interactive activity. Readers can add comments to a blogger's postings, other can respond, and a conversation ensues. Lately, bloggers have become well-known commentators on the political scene, but blogging can encompass any topic or no topic at all. If the blogging software allows it, bloggers can use RSS to distribute their postings.

Visit Technorati, a search engine devoted to locating blogs. You can set up your own blog by visiting Blogger.

RSS: RSS allows people to place news and other announcement-type items into a simple XML format that can then be pushed to RSS readers and Web pages. The initials RSS can stand for different things, including Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. Users can subscribe to the RSS newsfeeds of their choice, and then have access to the updated information as it comes in. RSS is used for all kinds of purposes, including the news itself and announcing new content on Web sites.

RSS content may be read by using an RSS reader, or aggregator. This is usually free software that you can install on your computer that posts new items and stores old ones in a graphical interface. An RSS reader similar to e-mail software in that it displays incoming items and can store content for offline reading. Subscribing to a newsfeed is usually as simple as entering the address of the RSS document.

A useful list of RSS readers is available on the site of RSS Compendium.

It is also possible to subscribe to and read your own collection of RSS feeds on Web sites devoted to this purpose. Bloglines is one such example. The advantage here is that you can access your RSS feeds from any computer that is connected to the Web.

Posted bySumedh at 11:08 PM  

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