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What is RSS?

If you like to get news from several different Web sites or enjoy reading weblogs, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) may be for you. RSS information (known as "Webfeeds" or "Newsfeeds") from many Web sites can be displayed all together on one screen using a "Feed Reader" (also known as an "Aggregator"). Many popular sites which allow you to sign up for e-mail and other services (example: Google, Yahoo), can read RSS.

How do I get started?

 

First you need to choose a Feed Reader.
Here are several popular ones:

Bloglines  
A well-known web-based feed reader.

My Yahoo! 
Web-based My Yahoo! displays RSS feeds in different content boxes on the same page.

More Feed Readers are described on the RSS Compendium page.

Many Feed Readers are free to use. Some of them allow you to access your Webfeeds online by logging on with a user name and password. Other Feed Readers are downloaded as software that runs on your personal computer. An important consideration in choosing a Feed Reader is whether it allows you to subscribe only to feeds included in its directory, rather than any Webfeeds you can find on the Internet.

Adding Webfeeds to a Feed Reader is called "Subscribing." The process for subscribing to Webfeeds is slightly different for each Feed Reader. Often you need to click on the "RSS" or "XML" button on a web page and then copy the address of the feed from the browser's address bar into your Feed Reader. Here are some sample Webfeed buttons:

AddBloglines 

AddRSS 

AddXML 

Some Feed Readers allow you to add the Webfeed with just the click of a button (you will be prompted to login).

AddGoogle1 

AddYahoo 

 

For More Information

Many Feed Readers include directories of Webfeeds that can be easily added to your subscriptions. To find additional Webfeeds, you can look through other RSS directories, many of which are annotated here:

http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/ 

Webfeeds are commonly used on news Web sites and weblogs, and also enable podcasting of audio and video content.

Some Feed Readers can search for feeds from a Web site if you enter the site's address.

These sites will give you a more detailed explanation of RSS and how it is used:

Fagan Finder > All About RSS 
RSS Quickstart Guide from Lockergnome 

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