Explaining RSS to your mother

Among all new terms and technologies in the Web 2.0 era, RSS might be one of the most unknown terms and also one of the most powerful technologies to stay tuned to fresh news. Nevertheless you must master it first and only then you will be able to truly unleash its power.

You will find lots of sites explaining about RSS, however, none of them can really deliver a convincing and simplified explanation so even people like my mother could understand what it is. Actually, my mum has been very useful in the improvement of my skills on regarding different and simple ways to explain web related terms to my clients. If she is able to understand it then, I guess, anybody can.

Although with RSS it's been very difficult to explain to her what it really means. Also if  you look at some explanations you will understand why.

RSS (which, in its latest format, stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed," "web feed," or "channel," contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually. Wikepedia

Now the best way I found is using videos as there are some really cool explanations on "Youtube" that illustrate what RSS is and how to use it. Some of these videos I have listed below:


This, in particular, is the best one in my opinion


What's RSS (ASL VLOG)


A poll of everyday people to see how much RSS has had an impact in the real world. By the looks of the results - not much!

Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.

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