What is RSS?
RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, is an easy way to keep up with your favorite news and information. An RSS feed contains headlines, summaries, and links to full stories. If you click an RSS link, you may see XML (or eXtensible Markup Language) code in your browser. This is to be expected, as RSS content is not usually viewed through a browser, instead you use an RSS reader (or RSS aggregator).
What is an RSS reader?
An RSS reader is a software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of sources in a central location.
Where can I get an RSS reader?
Some web browsers, such as Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 7 have built in RSS readers. If you are using a browser that doesn't support RSS, a wide range of RSS readers can be downloaded from the web. Some readers are web-based while others require you to install a software program onto your computer. Some RSS readers are free while others are available for purchase. A wide range of readers can be found at DMOZ Open Directory Project, Google, or Yahoo.
How do I use RSS feeds?
First, choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed or "channel" so you need to follow the directions for your reader. However, for the most part, this is how it works:
- click on the link or RSS icon near the feed you want, a web page displaying the RSS feed (it might appear as XML code) will open.
- then you will do one of the following, depending on your RSS reader, either copy the URL (web address) that appears in your browser's Address Bar and paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" section of the reader OR click on a link in your web browser to add the RSS feed
- once the RSS feed has been added to your reader, the feed displays and is regularly updated by your reader.
RSS feeds are commonly labeled with the following icons: