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About RSS Feeds

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary). Icons represented by XML and RSS indicate the availability of RSS feeds for information displayed on a web page. Some of the online information that can be syndicated via RSS include news items, tables of contents, short summaries, or links to full-text articles. Via syndication, these can be delivered to your personal news reader or feed aggregator.

What are feed readers or aggregators?

A news reader or feed aggregator is a type of software which is specifically tailored to receive these kinds of RSS feeds. With a feed reader you can view information from multiple web sites in a single interface. When you "subscribe" to an RSS feed, your reader will check that web site on a regular basis and show you any new content.

Specific feed readers and how to use them

Many RSS aggregator/feed reader programs are free or cost very little, and are easily to download and install. Web browsers such as Firefox and Safari have the built-in ability to read RSS. A popular, and free web-based version is Bloglines. (A detailed list of desktop, online and browser readers)

Once you have downloaded your news aggregator you can put news feeds into your news aggregator. You can do this by right-clicking (or control-clicking on the Mac) on the RSS icon, which is commonly found at the bottom or in the sidebar of a web page (RSS 2.0 image, RSS 2.0 image or XML image), then copying the shortcut/link location and pasting it into the news aggregator.

See also: Google Directory: News Readers and CNET Reviews: RSS Readers