RSS is a set of XML feed file formats of varying degrees of use for syndicating time-stamped content from web sites, and sometimes used to refer more broadly to feed file formats as a whole including Atom, or even more broadly in vernacular as a synonym for feed file or even feeds or syndication as a concept. RSS is an acronym that stands for: Rich Site Summary (originally RDF Site Summary, often dubbed Really Simple Syndication). Atom is an alternative XML format for feeds.
RSS formats are fairly widely used, from news sites to blogs (all blogging platforms support, self-hosted or share-cropped), through ecommerce or classified sites such as Craisglist, though there have been shutdown in recent years.
RSS formats are fairly open (development/licensing processes/openness varies across variants) yet all encourage an open feed file ecosystem across the web which means that every application can produce or consume RSS feeds, without relying on terms of service, agreements or service-centric API.
All Known sites provide an RSS 2.0 feed for any page or feed by adding ?_t=rss to the URL. e.g.
Malcolm's site unicyclic.com provides RSS feeds for new posts and comments. It also supports rssCloud to register for updates. Any feed will only show updates for the last 24 hours, with the expectation being that subscribers and aggregators will store historical content if they want to. A period of 24 hours was chosen so that feed items could be edited by the author and re-syndicated.
Chris Aldrich's WordPress site provides the standard RSS feeds for both posts and comments. In late 2016, I added and documented some additional human readable feeds for common indieweb post types as well. These are also done so that feed readers scraping the site will be able to offer these options to potential subscribers. I did this particularly as with increasing varieties of content and content types on my site, I don't expect that everyone will necessarily want the "firehose" feed, but may prefer to read subsections of content by post types, categories, or tags. I was also able to add links to RSS feeds from other sites I own as well to make my personal homepage a more central hub for my content.
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Add yourself here… (see this for more details)
In response to social silos turning off or removing access to their RSS Feeds, some groups have created work-arounds or alternate means of re-enabling RSS feeds. Some of these are listed below:
- Ryan Barrett's activitystreams-unofficial fetches and converts Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ data to and from RSS, as well as other formats like ActivityStreams and microformats2 HTML/JSON.
- RSS Bridge
To get the feed of a single person use: https://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?lang=en-us&format=rss_200&id=USERID.
Unfortunately, the USERID is not the username, and to get the actual ID you either need to need to use the Flickr API or visit a 3rd party service, like http://idgettr.com/. At least you can specify set IDs as well to follow, the details are at https://www.flickr.com/services/feeds/.
There is also a way to get the feed of everyone you follow: https://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_friends.gne?lang=en-us&format=rss_200&id=USERID but in this case, USERID should be your own ID.
There is a documentation on this at https://www.flickr.com/services/feeds/.
"gallery:" becomes "gallery%3A" due to the URL encoding; only replace the USERNAME with the deviantArt username.
WordPress ( both .com and hosted sites ) nearly always have RSS feeds for the site, for the categories, the tags; even for comments, sitewise and per entry. More details here.
Examples: full site feed
full comments feed
post specific comments feed
Only trought 3rd pary , but it works.
For other feeds, like loved tracks, see .
Praise for RSS, example uses:
- 2013-03-14 Brent Simmons: Why I love RSS and You Do Too
Problems Consuming RSS
There are many known problems consuming RSS feeds. See feed#Criticism for an extensive listing.
Use of the term "RSS" in conversation, whether online or in-person, has been ambiguously and interchangeably used to mean:
- RSS 2.0 in particular (implying all other versions of RSS aren't actually RSS, or are ignorable, or both)
- RSS feed files of any version
- RSS feed files of any version AND Atom feed files of any version
- as a synonym for a feed file of any format
Items appearing as new again
When the GUID for an item in an RSS feed changes, old items that have already been read will appear again as new. With a podcast feed, this means software will try to download episodes you've already listened to again.
gRegor Morrill: I've experienced this several times with podcast feeds. Some of the feeds have 50 episodes in them, so suddenly my podcast software is trying to queue up a lot of episodes I've already heard, and I have to manually remove them.
- Screenshot of Overcast.fm queueing up previously listened podcast episodes
Causes Plumbing Misfocus
Discussion of RSS in the context of indieweb or openweb etc. typically causes everyone involved in such communication to shift their thinking / conversation to be plumbing-centric (since RSS is a format, not a user feature), instead of user-centric.
- UX and design are more important than protocols and formats.
Solution: refocus the discussion on use-cases.
When someone asks "Why don't you support RSS?" or requests "Please use RSS":
Ask them, "What's the use case you're trying to solve?"
Then document the use-case, and how you're solving it with building blocks on your own website.
And keep the discussion focused on use-cases, rather than plumbing.
Feed File Criticisms
Instead of publishing/consuming RSS:
- Publish h-entry in your HTML. See http://indiewebcamp.com/ for more
- Consume h-entry, e.g. with a microformats2 parser
- Use a tool like unmung to convert RSS into h-feed.
When using such alternatives, you should consider RSS or Atom's ubiquituous nature. Very few readers support Microformats at this point, compared to the thousands of self-hosted RSS feed readers.
This section specifically documents shutdowns or dropping of support for RSS feed files on sites, whether indieweb, corporate, and/or silos.
More shutdowns are documented in feed shutdowns.
See the Wikipedia article on RSS for a more thorough history.
This section is a stub, please add to it to expand it to include notable events in the development of RSS.
- 1999-2003 the 9 incompatible versions of RSS
- 2000-07 to 2000-11 The Great RSS Schism
- 2000-12-06 RSS 1.0 was published.
- 2002-09-06 RSS 2.0 announced
- 2002-09-06 RSS 3.0 announced
- 2003-2007 RSS Atom Wars