Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog


It's time to embrace it

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RSS.  Really Simple Syndication.  “Feeds”.  “Rss” logos…

“What does it all mean, Kevin?”

Well.. Let me describe a very cool use of this technology as a way of introduction to you…

You want to know when there’s some new resource available of specific importance to you.  For example, let’s say you are the SQL DBA or database server administrator for your company.  You watch the Microsoft web sites, NNTP news groups, or perhaps you subscribe to some email lists.  But you sure would like to be notified whenever there is a new KB article relating to the version of SQL you are managing.  And you don’t want to subscribe to any more email lists.  You would rather control exactly what you’re getting… only what you care about or need to know.

Enter RSS

What is RSS? <—Article posted on Microsoft Help and Support

Now, using news agreggator software, you can subscribe to and receive just the information you want or need. 

Check out this article: RSS: Really Simple Syndication, for a great description of how this works.  Also included here is a good list of links to news agreggator software available.  (I happen to like the free SharpReader.)

“Why are you telling me this, Kevin?”

Many groups at Microsoft, including our TechNet team, are beginning to embrace this technology to allow you to control your own connection to us.  We’ll make content and information available, and you can select and subscribe to just what you want to know about… so we aren’t invading your privacy by sending you unwanted emails, and you don’t have to keep checking the web sites manually for changes.  You are in the driver’s seat! 

Great examples of this might be to subscribe to all of or just categories of my blog (“I want to read everything Kevin has to say”, or, “I only care about Kevin’s TechNet Briefing postings.”), or subscribing to a site that has updates and event information for just when we’re coming to your area, just the speaker you want to see, or just on the topics that you specify.  How cool is that?

In fact… If you right click on this orange Rss picture and select “Copy Shortcut”, you can then paste the link into your news agreggator software and subscribe to all of my blog entries!

Another real world, very cool example is what is available now for Microsoft Knowledge Base articles.  You can go HERE and select the RSS feeds to get updated lists of new KB articles for just the software you work with. 

And another cool example is how sites can be built using agreggations of blog content shared from bloggers all over the place – as in the site.

So.. it’s time to understand and embrace RSS. It’s going to make it really simple to stay up-to-date and informed.

Questions or comments?  Hit the feedback link below.


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