What is that orange thing with wavy lines?

This symbol appears ubiquitously on the world wide web. It’s supposed to be an easy concept, but for many, “really simple syndication” may seem not so simple. Most explanations that I read when I was first getting my feet wet in the concept made it sound a lot more difficult than it really needs to be.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Why turn it into LEGO art?

Why not? Some days I want to tackle complex portrait mosaics, other days I want something simple and straightforward.  While surveying my site recently, it occurred to me that the little image I have sitting there would be a fun thing to convert into a mosaic. I spent a few minutes in Photoshop and a few minutes in PicToBrick, and then about a half hour bricking grey, pink, and orange to a 10″x10″ baseplate, and voila! –a recreation of a standard RSS symbol.

What is RSS, anyhow?

RSS is a system created to make spreading and receiving news or other data much more efficiently. Most news sites, blogs, and other types of websites that have regularly posted content make use of some sort of news feed like RSS. An RSS feed is a list of items that a website is currently publishing. The website owner or content provider posts his news article to his site, which then (behind the scenes) converts that article into a data stream called an RSS and saves a copy of it on the website.

How can I get an RSS feed?

You can subscribe to an RSS feed using a number of different methods. I use Google Reader for all my news feeds. I read a number of blogs on topics ranging from LEGO news to website development to personal management to family and friends. But, rather than having to remember to go visit each of these sites every day or every week to see if they have any updates, when you subscribe to a feed, your reader will let you know which sites have been updated since the last time you checked.

Or, if you’d rather clutter up your inbox, you can subsribe to an RSS feed by email.

Other News Feeds

There are other types of feeds out there as well, like Atom News Feed. It was developed to improve on a lot of the shortcomings of RSS, but will probably have a hard time doing that because of the extremely widespread use of RSS.