What Is This Thing Called RSS

Real Simple Syndication (RSS). Funky name but great tool. If you’re not using it yet, try it now. It’s an easy and convenient way to get your news. Instead of going to several different websites to read the news, the news will come to you. And using RSS can save you from having to give out your email address to all those different news sources for their email alerts and newsletters (which could cut down your spam intake).

The Mechanics

RSS is a two part deal: the feeds and the feed reader. The feeds are generated at your favorite websites. The feed reader is a separate tool you use to collect and read the feeds.

The Feeds

To locate the feeds on your favorite websites, look in the navigation or tool bars for links labeled RSS or XML. The links are often accompanied by little orange boxes.

The Feed Readers

Also called news aggregators or news readers, the feed readers are everywhere. You can buy them, download them for free, or use online versions. I recommend trying an online version first. Online feed readers are often free and there’s no software to install, you just sign up for one, much like you would a Yahoo! mail account. For a list of feed readers, check out Wikipedia.

How to set it up

  1. Select a feed reader and sign up for their service.
  2. Go to each of your favorite websites, click on the RSS link.
  3. Copy the URL from the RSS link page into your feed reader.
  4. Done.

How to use

Once you set up your feed reader with all the feeds you want, just log into your feed reader and start getting your news. Through the magic of RSS, updated items from all your favorite websites will automatically be delivered direct to your news reader. You no longer have to go to each site to scan for news of interest.

Bonus

Of course you can get updated entries from our Blog delivered to your feed reader. Use the RSS link on the left. If you need help setting up a feed reader to read our blog, just let us know. Happy reading.