I mentioned before that one of the most important pieces of the OSMBlags II project is the RSS feed reader, but most people don’t know what that means. So let me explain. RSS is to computers what HTML is to people. That’s probably not very helpful. Think of it this way, you know the title of this blog post is “RSS Feeds” because it’s a big title floating at the top. You can tell that because you’re a person, but if a computer tried to read it they’d need something more obvious. An RSS feed tells the computer “this is a title” and “this is content.” It can also tell a computer what kind of information is held in that content.
Most of the things you see online can also be found in RSS form. This blog, for instance, can be seen in RSS here: http://dawson.osmblags.com/feed. News sites, content aggregators, and blogs all have RSS feeds. It would be strange to find a website without some kind of RSS feed.
I personally subscribe to about 18 different blogs covering topics from recipes to travel, fiction and non-fiction, news, and comics. I also follow my friends’ blogs, but not every blogger posts every day so I don’t visit every blog everyday. Instead, I just visit Google Reader and it imports the RSS feeds of all the different blogs. I only see the new stuff. This is the first functionality I will add to OSMBlags II.