How to explain RSS to your grandma

This is exactly the title of a post on downloadsquad a few days ago. There are some things in life – especially in technology – that are so easy once you understand it, but boy what are they hard to explain. RSS is exactly one of those things. It couldn’t be any easier, but have you ever tried to explain it to a non-technical person? So reading the title, I thought this is it, a Real Simple Explanation for Real Simple Syndication!

RSS is a data format for syndicating content on the World Wide Web. Technically, there are a few different versions of RSS in existence and depending on who you’re talking to, RSS is an acronym for a few different things: Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary.

RSS works by taking a set of information and breaking it down into a collection of identifable items. For example, an RSS feed for a newspaper’s site might gather up the most recently published stories and break them down so the RSS file contains one RSS item for each headline. The end result is an RSS feed of the newspaper’s recently published headlines.

Well it disappointed me reading it. High hopes, but this explanation is still getting me nowhere. This is not grannie-proof! Unless we find that, I don’t believe we will be able to break this towards a bigger audience, let me know if you have found a better explanation.



  1. Hannah K says:

    I think the expression is ‘as clear as mud’.

    Whilst its not quite Gran proof I think this site explains it quite simply –

  2. Rikki says:

    Joe buddy,

    Edde gij da echt on oe groatmoeder eutgelegd ??

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