I have written many times about Really Simple Syndication (RSSS), an emerging web protocol that makes reading frequently-changing information even easier than using a web browser. This newsletter has been available in RSS for nearly a year in addition to being available as a normal HTML web site. You can read some of my previous articles that describe the advantages of RSS at http://www.google.com/search?q=rss&btnG=%C2%BB&domains=eogn.typepad.com&sitesearch=eogn.typepad.com
Mainstream news media have discovered the advantages of RSS and are quickly adding it to their services. They find that their readers appreciate the advantages. The New York Times has been available via RSS for some time, as have many smaller publications, weather reports, stock market reports, sports news, private web sites and, yes, independent genealogy newsletters. Now another of the media giants has announced that it soon will distribute all of its content via RSS.
The British Broadcasting Corporation has been experimenting with limited RSS feeds for a while. Now the company has announced that all BBC content will be available, starting the second week of May. As the announcement says:
In a nutshell, it's a way to be told when your favourite parts of the site have new content to look at.
You can read more about the BBC announcement at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4497239.stm. You will have to scroll down a bit to find the article about RSS news feeds.
RSS probably will continue to become more popular as more and more people discover the advantages. I now monitor about 25 RSS news feeds from a variety of news organizations, weather forecasts, personal interest sites and more. In one screen I can quickly see all the news headlines from all 25 at once. I can double-click on any headline to instantly retrieve the entire article from my own hard drive. This is much, much faster and easier than trying to visit 25 web sites using a normal web browser. RSS is a convenience for any web user but particularly so for those using slower dial-up connections. Thanks to RSS, I can now monitor sites that I simply didn't have time to visit daily in the past.
Again, this newsletter and a number of other genealogy-related sites are now available via RSS. You can automatically retrieve new articles and read them quickly and easily at any time, even after you disconnect from the Internet. If you already have an RSS-capable newsreader, add http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/index.rdf to the list of URLs that you monitor.
If you are not yet familiar with RSS, you may want to read my earlier "RSS Feeds Explained" article at: http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2004/08/rss_feeds_expla.html