RSS, what are the feeds that were born 25 years ago and why they are less used today

RSS, what are the feeds that were born 25 years ago and why they are less used today

In an increasingly interconnected world, access to up-to-date information is crucial. This was understood already 25 years ago: it was in fact March 15, 1999 when Dave Winer, a software developer and online writer, together with Dan Libby, created the XML file format called “Scripting News format“, used to publish updates to its site. That proposal led to the approval of a shared standard, called RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

In the following years, the adoption of feed RSS it grew rapidly, fueled by the increase in the number of websites offering this functionality. Allow users to subscribe to RSS feeds for receive updates as soon as they were published, it was too good an opportunity to form and build loyalty audience.

As RSS feeds have grown in popularity, several standards and versions have emerged, including RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom. While RSS 2.0 has become the most widely used format, Atom it was developed as an open source alternative with a focus on standardization and flexibility.

Why RSS feeds are less used today

It’s undeniable that RSS feeds have undergone a transformation decline in popularity in the last few years. This decline is attributable to several factors, including the increased use of social media as content distribution platforms and improvements in notification and update technologies used by websites.

Many sites have implemented tools considered more effective, such as push notifications and real-time updates via API. These are methods considered much more immediate and customizable than traditional RSS feeds. On the other hand, with a large part of the user enjoying web content from a mobile device, send a real-time notification regarding the publication of new content represents an essential aspect for both the publisher and the user.

Whether someone took advantage of it, for example to send notifications of fake viruses on Android, is another matter entirely.

We also note that there is also a bit of a lack of awareness on the opportunities offered by RSS historians. On the other hand, while some browsers retain (a little hidden) a RSS feed readerChrome has been removing it for more than a decade now.

Google itself, for example, evidently felt that RSS feeds could “step on the toes” of the service Google News. This is the Google News page of by clicking on the appropriate button above you can follow it and receive updates.

RSS feeds still exist: here’s where and how to find them

An RSS feed contains information about a website’s latest articles or updates, including titles, summaries, and links to full articles. Users can use RSS feed readers installed locally or online services to subscribe to these feeds and receive updates automatically.

Even today, many web pages display a standardized icon representing a feed. It’s usually an orange icon with concentric waves. By clicking on this icon, you should reach the site feed.

Many sites include a link to their RSS feed in the footer of the page, or in the “foot”, in the final part. Scroll to the bottom, you can often find a reference to “RSS”, “Feed” or something similar.

Sometimes, just press CTRL+U to access the HTML source of the web page and search rss o atom: this way it is easy to find the URL of the RSS feed you are interested in. In any case, it is worth trying to add /feed to the domain name in the browser’s address bar: this often makes it possible to find RSS that is not “advertised” elsewhere.

Vari online services they can help users locate a website’s RSS feed. Just enter the site’s URL and the service indicates whether or not a ready-to-use feed was available.

Feed readers: some examples

Many online tools allow you to build your own custom RSS feed reader: Inoreader offers automation options via IFTTT, keyword tracking, filters, and advanced rules for Pro plan subscribers.

A complete and popular RSS reader with a free plan that allows you to follow up to 100 feeds and offers advanced features is Feedlyavailable on Web, Android and iOS.

Another practical web-based tool is Netvibes: launched almost 20 years ago, it still works perfectly today and allows you to freely organize your RSS feed lists.

Although development now seems stagnant, QuiteRSS It presents itself as an ideal open source application for Linux users. Mail client users Thunderbirdhowever, they can benefit from the RSS feed integrated directly into the application.

As a final note, we note that the use of RSS feeds has not gone away at all. What do they know webmaster, RSS feeds still remain an excellent tool for communicating with some Google services and displaying the latest updates published on the Web by various sites. In fact, together with other formats, Google uses feeds as a further signal to make the detection and indexing of the “freshest” and most current contents even more effective.

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