What is RSS?

RSS is the acronym for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS ‘feed’, like the one on this web site, lets you know when new content is added to the site. It’s free, easy to use, and does not involve e-mail.

What are the benefits of RSS?

Instead of having to check favorite web sites or blogs for updates, you can sign up for feeds and receive instant notification when new information is available. RSS feeds are updated automatically. When you want to unsubscribe, you simply delete the feed.

How to sign up for an RSS feed

1. Click the button or the link next to the feed you want to subscribe to. (Example of a subscription button:  )

The page that opens contains the feed. If your web browser (such as current versions of Firefox or Internet Explorer) has a built-in RSS reader, you’ll see a subscribe box at the top of the web page. The box displays various options for choosing a reader. For example, the Firefox RSS reader is called ‘Live Bookmarks’.

2. Choose the option you prefer and click the ‘Subscribe Now’ button.

3. A feed reader icon will show up in your browser tool bar. It generally looks like a square with white radio waves. (Example of a common feed reader icon:  )

You can also sign up for and read RSS feeds using a free software program called an RSS reader. These programs collect and display the feeds you subscribe to.

How to sign up for feeds using an RSS reader

1. Click on the button next to the feed you want to subscribe to. The page that opens contains the feed.

2. Copy the web address shown in your browser’s address bar.

3. Paste the address in the ‘Add New Channel’ box in your reader.

How to use an RSS feed

1. When you’re ready to look at the new content, click the feed reader icon for the feed you selected earlier. You’ll see a listing of available items.

2. Click the one that interests you. Your browser goes directly to the web page containing the content.

RSS feeds and readers are available for computers running Windows or Apple operating systems. You can also get programs for portable personal computers and mobile devices.