- What is RSS?
- How can I use an RSS Feed?
- Where can I get an RSS Reader?
- Are RSS Feeds only accessible through a computer?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a tool to help you to keep up with news and information that is important to you, and helps you avoid the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on Web sites. Through a simple language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), content is delivered to your reader without you even having to visit the Web site. This delivery of content is called a "feed." This feed is also referred to as RSS Feed, Web feed, RSS stream, or RSS channel.
The use of RSS feeds has greatly expanded over the years and is now also used for distributing and publishing frequently updated content such as news, information, and other types of digital content, including pictures, video, Podcasts, and other audio (usually in MP3 format) which you can listen to on your computer or MP3 player. RSS feeds benefit individuals who want to subscribe to timely updates from their favorite Web sites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.
RSS feeds are meant to viewed by RSS readers. Some newer Internet browsers support the viewing of RSS feeds, but the most commonly used browsers do not. a RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds.
There are different versions of RSS Readers; some are accessed using a browser, and some are downloadable applications. Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer. Downloadable applications, on the other hand, let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using Outlook, or keep it on a Web-based service like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail.
To read a RSS feed you need to have a RSS reader. Most RSS readers are programs that you download and many of them are free. They may be standalone programs or integrate into a program that you already use, such as Microsoft Outlook or the Mozilla browser.
Some browsers, such as the current versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari have built in RSS readers. They can automatically check for RSS feeds for you when you visit a Web site, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to RSS feeds much easier.
If you are using a browser that does not currently support RSS, there are a variety of RSS readers available on the Web; some are free to download and others are available for purchase.
Many mobile devices (such as BlackBerrys, MP3 players, iPods) all support RSS feeds.