RSS and OPML for Feed Subscriptions

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

When RSS first hit the web, no one really knew about it. It started to become a little more popular as more people started to post content. All these blog platforms started to publish these syndicated feeds. I give full credit to Dave Winer. If it weren’t for Dave, RSS and Blogging wouldn’t even exist in my mind.

I got a question from a reader who asked if there’s any way to import and export RSS subscriptions back and forth between RSS readers. The answer to that is yes, there is a simple way. If you use a Web browser, you have probably seen the RSS icon.

RSS (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 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 can be piped into special programs or filtered displays.

RSS content can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader” or an “aggregator”. The user subscribes to a feed by entering the feed’s link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds.

All of the newer Operating Systems come with built-in Feed Readers. Safari is the only Web browser that hasn’t picked up on the universal RSS icon yet. An RSS feed is designed to be used with a news aggregator. It checks to see which of your Feed subscriptions have updates, and then delivers them to you. But how do you synchronize all of your RSS feeds? I have plenty, let me tell you.

Leave it to Dave… he came up with something called OPML. In your news aggregator there’s going to be a way for you to export your subscriptions. When you export your subscriptions, it should save it as an OPML file. That file should be able to be imported into any other news aggregator. You can easily move your subscriptions back and forth as often as you want, from and to any news aggregator of your choosing.

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