Everything You Always Wanted to Know About RSS Feeds (But Were Afraid to Ask), and More!

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RSS Feed Me
26 Oct 2010

My mother, who at age 60 something attained enlightenment by earning the coveted Microsoft Certified Service Administration certification, absolutely bowled me over the other day with one of her 2 sentence emails: “Can you explain in simple terms what an RSS feed is? I couldn’t understand it”.

Most of us have constant exposure to the term (RSS-Really Simple Syndication), but don’t make use of this easy, yet effective way to automatically keep up with favorite web sites rather than checking them manually day after day after day.

Not wanting to disappoint my mother (and you really must understand my mom has high standards for all her children; she was terribly disappointed that none of us earned a Nobel Peace Prize), I faked it. I simply checked out a Wikipedia article, the ultimate source for pop culture wisdom, and did some creative re-wording. She didn’t like my answer.

About half an hour later, I happened to be looking at the OU’s Job Board web site and much to my surprise, I discovered a great article with a basic explanation of RSS feeds! When I forwarded a link to the article, my mother was pretty impressed. She called me in raptures, “This is really amazing. I set these feeds up and now I’m automatically alerted whenever something new gets posted to any of my favorite web sites. I can stop visiting NobelPrize.org! The RSS feed will let me know the minute you or your brothers are going to Stockholm.”

My mother was even more impressed when she began navigating the breadth and width of the entire OU web site. “I thought the only information I’d find on the OU’s web site would be OU-Kosher alerts”, she later commented.

But the OU’s new motto is “World’s Largest Jewish Resource” and it’s not just a catchy slogan. I encourage you to peruse the various departmental pages and discover for yourselves all the wonderful resources now available. When visiting www.ou.org, you’ll find 16 small icons running across the very, very top of the page:

And that’s in addition to some terrific Torah and Holiday content (check out the various home page tabs), Zmanim, News & Updates, Video Presentations, Synagogue & Mikvah information, and yes, yes, yes, OU Kosher updates and alerts.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.