RSS: Level 1

“Getting started”

What?

You’ve heard of RSS? You’ve seen those small funny tags on websites? In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionalizing the way news, media and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is an XML file format for delivering content on the web. You will also find RSS referred to as “web feeds” or just “feeds”. If your favourite website publishes an RSS feed, you don’t have to keep visiting it to find fresh content; you can just subscribe to the RSS feed and wait for that fresh content to come to you!

Learn more about RSS from Wikipedia

Or you may want to watch this video

Why?

To get quick and easy updated on the news and themes that you choose without having to remember to check numerous pages. And your mailbox will be filled up – you can be updated at your leisure.

Why not?

Too much information. How to find and choose your sources to be updated from. Yet another thing you have to check for news – time thief

How
so how do you actually get it started and working for you?

Subscribe to feeds
If a website publishes a feed, it is usually indicated on the site in at least one of the following ways:

  • a hyperlinked orange icon
  • a link called “RSS” or “XML” or “Subscribe” (or some variation thereof)

Most often, when you want to subscribe to a feed, you have to right-click the link to the feed (which, again, can be indicated by either an orange icon or a text link), select “Copy Link
Location” or “Copy Shortcut”, and add the link to your aggregator.
An aggregator is a thing you need to be able to collect and read your RSS feeds. You can read more about different types here:

RSS aggregators
RSS aggregators are applications that read RSS feeds. An aggregator will take an RSS feed and convert coding into something that is readable, with a defined title, formatting, and hypertext links that you can click on. The other important feature of an aggregator is the built-in update function that checks the feeds you’ve subscribed to for fresh, new content. If new content is found, your aggregator delivers that to you.
Types of aggregators:

  • Desktop: these are software applications that required downloading and installation on a computer.
  • Web-based: online aggregators live on the web and require users to set up a username and password to access them. To access a web-based aggregator, you go to the site, login, and read your feeds online. The advantage of web-based aggregators is that you can access them from multiple computers (home, work, service desks, etc.). Two popular web-based aggregators are Bloglines and Google Reader.
  • Personal startpage Tools with integrated RSS readers, like:
  • Browser- and email client-based: the latest versions of many browsers (like Firefox and Internet Explorer 7) include the ability to subscribe to and read RSS feeds right in the browser. Also, a couple of popular email clients (like Outlook 2007 and Thunderbird) include a feed reader.
  • (See also : Comparison of feed aggregators)
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