Day 10: Organize Your RSS Feeds


When the World Wide Web was first created, one of its advantages over the information sources that had come before was that a web page could be changed, adding new content, removing outdated content, and fixing errors. But this advantage was also a bit of a curse because it meant that you might have to check a web page on a regular basis to see if it had changed, and of course, some web pages might not change for months or years, if ever. What if there was a tool that would keep track of online content, notifying “subscribers” if the content had changed in any way?

This became especially important when the first blogs were created, as people would want to follow a particular blog and be notified when there were new posts. In 1999, a solution was created: a special kind of web page in a particular format whose primary purpose was to keep track of changes to some other page or site. This new file format was called RSS, also referred to as a web feed or news feed. But even with the new file format, it was still necessary to have special software that could track the RSS feeds for dozens or even hundreds of different sites (again, especially blogs), so that one could be notified when there was new content to read. This special software was called a news aggregator or feed reader.

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