About RSS

What Is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s an easy way for you to keep up with news and information that’s important to you by having it delivered directly to you using an application called a newsreader. This content is called a “newsfeed.”

RSS content is organized in a standard format using XML (eXtensible Markup Language). This format defines each component of the feed (title, author, link to original source, publish date and actual content) making it easy for the newsreader applications to collect and display it.

What Is an RSS Reader?

An RSS reader is an application that collects and displays RSS feeds. You select the newsfeeds you wish to receive by subscribing to them. Then, on a regular schedule, the newsreader will visit each of your subscribed newsfeeds to see if new content has been published. If so, that new content will be delivered to your newsreader for you to view. It allows you to quickly scan headlines from a number of sources in one central location.

Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?

Some browsers, such as the current versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari have built in RSS readers. If you’re using a browser that doesn’t currently support RSS, there are a variety of RSS readers available on the web. Some of the more popular online readers include:

A complete list of newsreaders is available at Wikipedia.

How Do I Use RSS Feeds?

Once you’ve chosen a newsreader, follow the directions provided by the application. Generally, the steps will be similar to these:

  • Click on the link or the orange subscribe button near the feed you want.
  • The resulting page may look very strange, but don’t worry. Copy the web address displayed in your browser’s address bar. For example, the URL you would copy for this site is http://jcseva.org/site/?feed=rss2.
  • Paste that address into the “Add Feed” section of your reader.

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