Over the past years, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) has become a standard of content sharing over the web. Content publishers such as bloggers, news websites or online magazines take full advantage of its potential. What better way to allow people to stay up to date with your content without wasting time writing newsletters each day/week?
For end users, RSS facilitates keeping track of updates regularly and in an organized way through the use of RSS readers.
Bloggers know that their RSS subscribers are amongst the most loyal users of their blog and there is not a single blogger who respects his readers that does not use RSS.
Short History of RSS
The history of RSS dates back to 1995 when Ramanathan V. Guha from Apple Computers developed Meta Content Framework (MCF). Guha left Apple for Netscape where he started adapting his MCF to a new specification called RDF (Resource Description Framework). In 1999, W3C published the specification for the RDF data model and XML syntax as a recommendation and so, in March 1999, RSS 0.9 (RDF Site Summary) was born.
In July ’99, Dan Libby of Netscape simplified the format by removing the RDF elements and made publicly available the new version: RSS 0.91. By removing the RDF elements and incorporating elements from Dave Winer’s scriptingNews syndication format, RSS now stood for Rich Site Summary.
In April 2001, Netscape discontinued the RSS project. The decision was taken the company’s new owner, AOL.
Between April 2001 and September 2002, RSS versions 0.92 to 0.94 were released; all based on the 0.91 version, but incompatible to 0.90, since 0.90 used RDF elements.
In September 2002, Winer and UserLand Software released the big update, RSS 2.0 which now stood for Really Simple Syndication. This is the version we all know and use with a few updates over time and a “frozen” internal version of RSS 2.0.1.
You can find more information about RSS on Wikipedia.
1st of May, RSS Awareness Day
To honor the efforts put into the development of the RSS format, Daniel Scocco of DailyBlogTips.com had the initiative of celebrating the 1st of May as an international RSS Awareness Day; a wonderful initiative which I totally support and hope you will to, by writing or talking to your friends about it.
You can also visit the official website at RSSDay.org.