What is RSS?
RSS is a format for syndicating the content of a website, that allows the syndication of lists of hyperlinks, along with other information, or metadata, that helps viewers decide whether they want to follow the link.
What does RSS stand for?
RSS stands for many things. Some refer to it as Really Simple Syndication, others refer to it as RDF Site Summary, and yet others refer to it as Rich Site Summary. There is much discussion on the Internet referring to these terms and their meanings, so I will leave it out of this FAQ.
How does RSS benefit the SDMB and its members/guests?
Members and guests can add RSS feeds to their websites or RSS readers (explained later). You get to see the OP’s name, thread title, date and time, and the first few lines (roughly 300 characters) of the OP, and a link to the thread. This gives you enough information to decide whether you want to open the thread, without having to visit the boards at all. This also makes it easier to click on only work safe links at work, while avoiding threads that might not be safe for work.
Members and guests with handheld devices will find the RSS feeds to be an excellent way to access the boards from their PDAs and phones.
The SDMB hopes that RSS feeds will bring more members to the boards, while making it easier for our existing members and guests to access the boards.
Can you show me an example of what RSS really is?
RSS is much easier to demonstrate than to explain.
Here are two ways in which RSS can be used:
a. Here’s a screenshot of the SDMB RSS feed in an RSS Reader on Windows:
b. And here’s an example of how RSS feeds can be included in your website:
i. As a side panel:
ii. As a web page:
Can I include the SDMB RSS feed on my website?
Sure. Here’s a getting started guide to help you with it:
If you have experience with RSS, please feel free to add your suggestions to this thread.
How can I access RSS feeds?
You need an RSS reader, also known as an RSS aggregator.
Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix:
What is the link to the RSS feed? How do I start?
Once you install your RSS reader, you need to add the link of the RSS feed to your reader. You can either click on the link or add it manually:
Title only (no OP):
Title and OP:
How do I access only specific forums?
Where n is the forumid number. See alterego’s post for more details. You can mix and match forums. Note that it is “forumids=” even if you just specify a single forum.
Has the SDMB officially turned on RSS?
Well… We were just testing it this past week and were about to launch it this week. This FAQ was to be posted later today. You guys are always ahead of us
Why don’t I see the RSS icon on the boards?
Because we haven’t included it, and we probably won’t.
Will you keep RSS on forever?
This is an experiment. We may, we may not. If we find that RSS is causing a significant increase in load on the boards, or if we find that the feature is being misused or abused in any manner, we might disable it.
Will you also be enabling XML feeds?
We haven’t yet, but if you make a case for it we could consider it.
What can I do to help?
Be fair in your use of this feature. Set the feed update interval on your reader to the highest interval you can live with.
This post may be edited from time to time to include further information.