What is RSS?

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a format used to share various kinds of web content. An “RSS feed” automatically monitors content sources such as web sites. When the content at the source has been refreshed, the RSS detects this and notifies the user. Thus users don’t have to go back to check sites manually. News headlines are a very popular use of RSS feeds.

Setting Up RSS

To get started, obtain an RSS reader, also known as an “aggregator.” An RSS aggregator can be a standalone application or a plug-in for another program already in use, such as Microsoft Outlook. Some web browsers, such as Firefox and Apple’sSafari, have RSS readers built in.

Some aggregators are available online and can be customized by adding selected RSS feeds. Examples are My Yahoo,GoogleReader, and Bloglines. To try it, click Find a downloadable RSS aggregator.

Here’s how to view a feed in an RSS Aggregator:

  • Click on the RSS feed that corresponds to the topic of interest.
  • Copy the URL.
  • Paste the URL into the RSS reader.