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Beginners Guide to RSS

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of August 2007 RSS 0 Comments

Martin Neumann has put together a great new resource for people wanting a good introduction to RSS by the title of RSS – Beginners Guide.

It’s one of the better resources on the topic that I’ve seen and I’m adding it to my own What is RSS page along with How to Explain RSS the Oprah Way, Getting Started with RSS and the below Common Craft Video.

How do you explain RSS?

VideoJug: RSS In Plain English

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren, I agree, the video made RSS very easy to understand, and this is another way to bring in those subscribers….thanks for posting it for us (maybe I’ll use it on my blog, too!)

  2. That sure is a nice movie, nicely explained for beginners.

  3. I’m still not a huge fan of video tutorials, but… like yourself, I’ve had a Learn to use RSS Feeds link on my site for months that takes the user here and explains what RSS is and how they can use it.

  4. wow I was trying to find an easy going rss video – this one is quite good as it goes into bloglines

  5. I recently embedded this video on my own blog and have recently been on a “speaking tour” so to speak to local business networking groups giving the talk;

    RSS: Blogging and Podcasting – Syndicating your message to the web and beyond. Quite a few of the people I am speaking to work in areas outside of tech including real estate, insurance, sales and small business owners. When I start my talk I ask how many have heard of RSS and almost always no hands go up which is great for me because it give a lot to talk about. They have however heard of blogging and podcasting but yet many still don’t understand what exactly they are either.

    The Netflix/blockbuster(video store) analogy is similar to one I use in my talks. I explain is like getting the newspaper or magazines delivered to your door instead of going to the newsstand, library or bookstore.

    I also try to explain that the “concept” of RSS has been around a very long time and RSS is just a relatively new way of doing it. I give the examples of old fashioned stock tickers, the newscrawler they see on the bottom of the T.V. screen or on outdoor signage.

    To church or other religious groups I talk about how they communicate by quoting a Bible verse reference and small snippet of the verse.

    I’m also not a big fan of the term “RSS” even thought I love and am very passionate about the technology. The acronym RSS seems to contradict itself and the people I talk to laugh and say “yeah right” when I tell them it stand for Really Simple Syndication.

    As you can imagine I like the term “Firewire” a lot better than IEE1394.

  6. Thanks Darren for the link! that was a great video indeed!
    Easy way to understand RSS, I liked how he explains it in an easy way, old fashion :).

  7. Cute. I might experiment with using this on a “whats RSS” page.

    Now, if I could find a “Quantum Bubbles, explained” video, I would be stoked.

  8. Nice! Where was this a couple years ago when I was clueless as to what all this “RSS” stuff meant?

  9. I used to have a page explaining what RSS was in simple terms. I changed that to a link to the same video you’ve posted when I first saw it. Far easier to understand than my guide ever was!

  10. Good video on RSS especially for beginers. Uncluttered new design is looking nice.

  11. I wrote a similar post> on this topic recently.

    The video tutorial is a good way to get the message across. Not everyone wants to read a lengthy article when they can watch the same thing.

  12. Hi Darren,
    I have been following your blog and must admit that following your simple yet effective rules, the traffic on my site has doubled. I hope to keep the ball rolling with your simple rules.

    Keep it going.

  13. Patrick, that’s why some people call it “Rich Site Summary”. Though I prefer “Really Simple Syndication” personally.

  14. *cough*



    Did I mention it’s free for other bloggers to use on their blogs?


  15. I have posted that same video on my site too. It is very nice and explains RSS more than in “plain english”.

  16. I covered this subject recently and used the “delivering mail” analogy to describe RSS and feeds. Since adding the post, and crucially making it clear that people unsubscribe easily (I can’t stress how important it is to make this clear) I saw my subscriber numbers shoot up. The post is here: What is RSS – A template for increasing subscriber numbers. This post was actually featured as one of your readers tips a few days ago Darren.

  17. Thanks for the write-up, Darren .

    Got to say that the video was/is the most talked about part of the resource – I’m glad I found it while researching this topic (you’d be surprised by how many quality videos are out there on many different topics that rarely get seen).

    Nothing beats a simple video/screencast to explain a technology to an audience that wants to know.

  18. Thanks for writing up Darren . Great video comman craft . I like it cooool work.

  19. I didn’t use RSS for my blog. Thanx Darren, i’ll follow the video.

  20. Common Craft know just how to explain these things. I might have to save this and show my computer illiterate family.

  21. I put a post out early in the year on RSS – http://www.timelyinsights.net/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=Would_you_like_that_web_site_delivered? and had good traction offering it to some local networking groups that hadn’t heard about RSS.

    When suggesting it to non-technical folks, it’s important to skip 99% of the technology and tell them what it does and why they want to use it. They don’t care so much about how it happens;-)


  22. Thanks for all of your great instructions here at ProBlogger. I just recently launched my own website and Blog and I couldn’t have done it without all of your information here. The RSS post and links made it really easy to understand. The next step I wanted to figure out was out to get the little orange icon to display on my widget bar to make it easier for readers to subscribe instead of pasting code. The FeedBurner site was really easy to use. Do you already have a link to this or a post about this somewhere?

    Thanks again Darren!

  23. Hi Darren, I wonder if I can get more traffic with rss?
    if this is possible how can I do that?

  24. Nice post on the topic of RSS… when i was trying to get people to my blogs i used this site… (http://www.petefreitag.com/item/384.cfm ) to help with my RSS feeds.


    Finnally an easy way to explain to friends and family what RSS is and how to use it :p

  26. Hey thanks, great video!

  27. Thanks for the video! I have a number of emails from readers during the week that still do not grasp RSS feeds and ask how to use them. I’ll be sure to point them here.

  28. thanks a lot for this post. this is actually the first time i’ve heard was rss actually was. i’ve seen it all over the place but knew i would show my idiotness if i asked anyone what it was. so i chose to show my idiotness now as a special gift for explaining it to us ‘slower’ people.

    thanks again

  29. Darren you make everything so easy for us to understand. RSS was like a foreign language before I watched that video. Now its a little more clear how it works. I’m still learning.

  30. Cool , It’s a nice video for the beginers like me to know about the RSS thanks Darren – http://www.vhxn.com

  31. I have always loved the Idea of getting more backlinks from RSS ;)

  32. Excellent explanation. Very basic, yet informative.

  33. How can RSS help to bring more traffic to your site when they are reading the posts on their Readers?


  34. jawed has a good question, how does one get traffic to their site when all the content is on the rss readers.

  35. Great vid on how RSS feeds work

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